Business and Arts South Africa is significantly expanding its African partnership initiative with the implementation of Creative Futures programme’s Business Engagement in Ethiopia.
The programme will be implemented December 2017 and January 2018 in partnership with Creative Futures Programme in Ethiopia. Supported by the European Union (EU), Creative Futures is a two-year programme which aims to contribute to the socio-economic development of Ethiopia by strengthening the creative industries. Powered by the British Council, the Goethe-Institut and iceaddis, CF intends to increase the capacity and network creative professionals in the image sector.
The upcoming Addis programme forms part of the BASA Partnered Africa Programme which sees the organisation work with private and creative sectors outside South Africa. Over the past few years, this exciting initiative has seen BASA implement projects and programmes with different partners in Mozambique, Zambia, Malawi, Botswana and other countries. These are an integral part of BASA’s commitment to ensuring the long-term sustainability of arts and culture on the African continent by engaging the private sector.
Using its considerable expertise and in-depth knowledge in working with the private sector to align their corporate and business objectives with opportunities in the creative and cultural sector, BASA will be delivering a series of activities in Ethiopian aiming to engage both the business and Image sector.
The first phase is a series of specially curated business breakfasts, starting on 12 December and 14th December 2017.
The business breakfasts aim to stimulate conversations with business leaders on how the arts can be a progressive and valuable enabler for business imperatives – including CSI, Marketing, HR and transformational opportunities and strategy. Using real-life examples, the breakfasts will demonstrate the role the arts can play in co-operation and co-creativity, as opposed to competition on the continent.
The four speakers at the first Creative Futures Business Engagement breakfast meetings are Wondwossen Meshesha and Yvette Nowell, Mahlet Tecklemariam and Michelle Constant, CEO of BASA, who will also be presenting on the work that the organisation is currently engaging in, with its business members.
Meshesha is currently Operations Manager at Tomoca Coffee – an Addis Ababa-based family owned and run coffee roasting and Coffee Shop Company. Since its establishment in 1935, Tomoca Coffee has been an integral part of Ethiopian life with its first shop in Piassa still an important landmark and destination for both locals and international tourists. Tomoca Coffee is a supporter of the arts in Ethiopia, and Wondwossen will share insights into his passion for the arts and how Tomoca Coffee uses its resources to provide a wide variety of support, including free showcasing spaces for visual artists and event sponsorship.
Nowell heads up Rand Merchant Bank’s (RMB) Corporate Social Investment Fund – the RMB Foundation – a requirement of the company’s King IV requirements. Her job has seen her work closely with the strategy and shared value both of the Bank, but also of the arts and environmental organisations that the Bank supports.
Recently, Nowell completed her Masters in Sustainability Leadership through Cambridge University and is looking forward to bringing her love for conversations and ideas about creating more integrated value and purpose-driven business in the workplace to Ethiopia. It is also important to note that RMB is a long-standing and active member of BASA.
Tecklemariam’s vision and passion for fashion, especially as it relates to African designers and their talents led her to launch “Hub of Africa Fashion Week” which is held annually in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, thereby providing exposure to seasoned and upcoming African designers and the African fashion industry as a whole. It had caught the attention of international agencies like Vogue Italia, UNIDO, as well as International buyers. In recent years Hub of Africa, Fashion Week has expanded to include learning and networking opportunities for African designers by working with a variety of stakeholders such as African Development Bank.
The Creative Futures Business Engagement activities will also host a series of exclusive arts experiences where Business Leaders can see Arts in Action curated in a way that showcases the opportunities within Ethiopia’s Image sector while finding and connecting the dots for mutually beneficial relationships between business and the arts.
Thereafter, Creative Futures Business Engagement will also include two workshops – the first targeted at the business leaders and the second at the Image sector players and a combined conversation between business and Image sector. These workshops will be underpinned by a localised and customised toolkit.
“BASA has a wealth of experience and we are very excited to be partnering with British Council, The Goethe Institute and iceaddis to bring it to Ethiopia,” comments BASA’s Head of Programmes and Development Lonwabo Mavuso.
“We are confident that the roll-out of events as part of the programme will be of real value to both the arts and business communities of Ethiopia and look forward to getting underway with the programme’s events next year.”