Through the European Union funded partnership programme, the Creative Futures I project, which was implemented by British Council, Goethe-Institut and iceaddis, worked with the Creative Industry at four levels:

For those at the early stages of their careers it provided Creative Hustles, training and networking platforms in order to support them develop their capacity and their network within the sector. 

  •  To facilitate collaborations, innovation, learning and networking twice over the programme we held Innovation Month sessions throughout the city.

 To help artists take a more business-like approach to the management of their talent, we provided:  

  •  A Business and Marketing 8 weeks training with follow up clinics sessions where practitioners got support to overcome challenges they face in the application of their learning.
  •  Events Management 8 weeks training focused on event management and promotion. Once the training has been completed, attendees were able to apply for €350 funding towards the production of their own event.

Through our International Networking programme, we conducted workshops across the photography, film, gaming and design and fashion sectors to help identify specific areas for potential development and international engagement. The workshops were also helpful to identify key sector practitioners with the potential not only to develop their own career but also to develop the sector more widely in Ethiopia. 5 individuals were paired with international partners from Africa and Europe and together they set up a long-term project aimed at creating more international opportunities for the respective sectors. 

After the Creative Futures I project was finalised, with the overwhelmingly positive impact that the Innovation Month specifically had in the sector, we decided to give it a second go. Hence Creative Futures 2.0 materialised.

British Council, as a lead agency for the second innovation month program targeted individual artists from various disciplines with a particular focus to image sector practitioners and Artists who are involved in Photography, Filmmaking, Fashion designing, Architecture, Graphics design, Animation, Game, App or software development, Visual arts, Digital arts, Crafts, Sculptor and or Pottery.

Then, from February to March, Creative Futures month of innovation participants were provided a working space equipped with necessary supplies, high-speed internet and mentorship support at The Urban Center, all for free. Participants developed scintillating art projects and five winners were then awarded, and are in the process of being awarded, Birr 100,000 to develop their projects further.

Once again, Creative Futures 2.0 was a big success and the British Council is exploring how to use the momentum created to further develop the project into a more creative and productive format. 

Perhaps, we have laid the seed for a budding and a nationwide, or even an international, creative festival!  

You can check out our Facebook Page (especially February - March 2021) to know more about the participants and the winners.


Nebiyou Worku