Strengthening international collaborations for east African creatives

Our brief was to strengthen awareness and increase links between 18 to 35-year-old creatives in East Africa and the UK, in celebration of East Africa Arts (EAA).

Despite the crippling effects of the Covid-19 pandemic stalling the creative sector worldwide, we set about showcasing the efficacy of the British Council’s East Africa Arts programmes and the importance of the creative sector as a career path, through the lens of their direct beneficiaries.

These creative entrepreneurs had incredible stories to tell. To generate engagement and support international partnerships despite the challenges of the pandemic, we crystallised the narratives of their innovations into media-friendly, engaging pitches with which to generate media interest.

Key titles and podcasts in the UK and across East Africa picked up these stories, which included the adversity-transcending power of fashion for a group of female textile producers in Kenya and Ugandan entrepreneurs benefitting from the Creative Hubs Academy.  Publications such as the Evening Standard (UK: circulation 1,780,000) and The East African (circulation: 3,000,000) jointly promoted No Direct Flight – a festival of African film and storytelling streamed live from Nairobi during the period of engagement. The press coverage reached approximately 30 million people in both East African and UK media.

By developing a rigorous content programme for Instagram, we were able to provide a digital platform to encourage international partnerships at a time when physical international movement was no longer permitted. Using powerful video clips alongside the compelling entrepreneur stories, we successfully increased the British Council’s EAA’s Instagram following by 17 per cent.

Despite significant strategic setbacks as a result of Covid-19, the British Council’s EAA engagement programme gained momentum by celebrating creative entrepreneurship as a direct result of the activity secured.



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