Creative Economies Africa

AHSCE Final Report

This final report reflects on the collaborative activities, impact and shared learning that emerged during a two-year international follow-on grant funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) in the UK (AH/W00688X/1).  The African Hub for Sustainable Creative Economies project (AHSCE) was proposed and established with the overall aim of supporting the development of sustainable creative economies in Africa by engaging African Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and empowering them to interact with their local creative economies. It proposed that strengthening the capacity of HEIs to interact with key stakeholders in the sector, including graduates, creative entrepreneurs, creative intermediaries and policymakers, could have a positive and sustainable impact on the individuals, communities and sectors involved. In doing so, it aimed to empower the development of a more innovative and diverse workforce, by offering access to practical knowledge and supporting collaborative opportunities.  In the paper, we highlight the collaborative activities and journey undertaken with our international academic team across King’s College London (UK), University of Southampton (UK), University of Nairobi (Kenya), University of Lagos (Nigeria) and University of Witwatersrand (South Africa). We reflect on the range of impacts that the overall project and the creative projects supported through the Collaborative Voucher Scheme had. Finally, we reflect on the shared learning that the AHSCE supported and the legacy of the project. We share important policy reflections in relation to the importance of funding and business support; enhancing knowledge and skills; protecting creative workers, valuing creative careers and celebrating and supporting creativity. Finally, we consider avenues for future research and further collaborations.