Selam launches a new project, Connect for Culture, in six different countries in Africa (Ethiopia, Gambia, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia) with support from The Swedish Institute. The purpose of the project is to strengthen the culture sector and young agents in it, as well as stimulating a deepened discussion spanning everything from culture policy, copyrights, artistic freedom, digitalization and the culture sector’s need of an infrastructure.

120 people will receive education in a three month long online course that spans from October to December 2020. The project has existed on the level of ideas since many years at Selam and really started taking shape during Selam Talks, the series of webinars about culture in Africa during Covid-19 that Selam arranged early in the summer 2020 that involved culture workers, producers, journalists and musicians from East Africa, West Africa and North Africa.

– We’re both glad and proud to be part of this and support culture in African countries and contribute to new forms of cooperation. Selam’s focus on exchanging experiences of handling the pandemic and creating a resistance to crises that effect the culture sector feels extra urgent now, says Madeleine Sjöstedt, Director General of The Swedish Institute.

Selam has worked in the field of cultural development and foreign aid for over 20 years. With it’s extensive global network and contacts in Africa, Latin America and Asia, Selam has pushed many different culture aid and support projects and has offices in Stockholm, Addis Abeba and Kampala.

– We are enormously grateful for the dialogue, confidence and support from The Swedish Institute especially now that Covid-19 has created such massive problems for cultural life in Africa. We hope we will have continued possibility to support the greatly affected culture sector in Africa. It’s important that we here in Sweden start seeing places from Banjul to Nairobi as interesting spots for culture, economy, meetings and exchange. We also believe that this project shows that Swedish government agencies see that Sweden can be established as a context of just as obvious to turn to as a designer, director or musician in Africa as France or Great Britain. With this project we’re taking a new step in sharing valuable experiences from Swedish and international culture and exchanging knowledge to strengthen culture globally, says Teshome Wondimu, founder and CEO of Selam.


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