In line with the Department of Arts and Culture’s African focus on cultural diplomacy, BASA’s strategy has been to participate more rigorously with the broader continent. To this end, the organisation works closely with diverse members, supporting them in their broader goals on the continent.
Partnered Africa has partnered with the British Council Creative Futures Business Engagement Programme in Ethiopia, funded by the European Union. The programme was implemented in December 2017 and January 2018, with a research element, a series of curated business breakfasts, workshops, and arts-based experiential learning initiatives with the private sector and the creative sector, showcasing opportunities in Ethiopia’s creative and cultural sector.
Furthermore, in February 2018, BASA partnered with the British Council and Digify Africa on a training programme roadshow to Zambia and Zimbabwe to upskill artists in digital technology to grow their markets. These #OwnYourMark artist workshops were free and had both online and face-to-face components focused on understanding creative market growth; planning strategically for creative marketing; defining trends, motives and barriers; making the most of the social media and of e-commerce platforms; and the importance of content marketing in business growth. The programme was also presented in Johannesburg, South Africa, and has subsequently been incorporated into the BASA Scale-Up Programme.
Staff member Boitumelo Motsoatsoe participated in the Common Purpose Africa Venture, focusing on Cultural Intelligence and Leading Beyond Authority, which saw her attend workshops from 7-11 May in Nairobi, Kenya, and from 27-30 August in Lagos, Nigeria, as well as participate in webinars from Johannesburg between visits.
BASA CEO, Michelle Constant, was invited to participate in the Arts Summit of Southern Africa (ASSA) in Namibia as a panellist from 21–23 August. Constant also represented BASA at the 5th African Union Pan-African Cultural Congress (PACC5) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 5-7 September, where she participated in a panel discussion on expanding access to existing and new markets. The panel addressed the following themes: strengthening competitiveness between AU Member States to stimulate creative arts and businesses, strengthening collaboration to accelerate intra-African trade, integrative branding of African cultural products, the role of the media in promoting the African cultural and creative economy.