Ignite Culture

Grants of up to a maximum of 180,000 euros for the support of Creative and Cultural industries(CCIs) in 14 countries in Eastern Africa.

Implemented by HEVA in partnership with the British Council Kenya, with the financial contribution of the European Union, and further support from the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of states(OACPS)

All proposed projects must be implemented within a maximum of 6 months. Call for applications open on 22 November 2022. Official dates are to be announced soon!



Overview :

Welcome to the second call for applications of the ACP-EU Culture Programme (Eastern Africa): Ignite Culture’s first application call was launched in August 2021 and awarded grants to our first cohort of 19 organisations in 2022. This grant was designed to enable organisations to successfully develop new ventures, programmes and projects for their target communities and demographics, which will go a long way to making their own work and the work of their target communities more sustainable.

(Organisations in this case means : associations, businesses, NGOs, public or government institutions, local authorities, universities, cultural institutes, Museums, art centres, agencies, collectives, Consortias etc . Provided they demonstrate legal and administrative autonomy) 

This grant will also enable recipients to design, implement and engage in any suitable activities that:

  • Strengthen the creative and cultural ecosystem in which practitioners and organisations operate in Eastern Africa;
  • improve the access and visibility of the diverse creative and cultural sectors in Eastern Africa;
  • promote economic growth of the creative sector and cultural sector in the Eastern African region. 

Through grant financing of between 30,000 euros and 180,000 euros, prospective applicants should direct any financial support toward the following activities:

  • increasing the quality and /or quantity of creative and cultural goods and /or services 
  • improving visual literacy of audiences, visibility of makers and access to new markets for creative and cultural goods and services from Eastern Africa
  • building appropriate,industry-ready skills and capacity for young people entering the cultural and creative sectors 
  • improving the capacity and knowledge of Eastern Africa’s creative and cultural practitioners on policy, legal and financing frameworks impacting the sector and increasing their ability to advocate for more supportive policy and legal structures 

Read more details about these four project focus areas here  

Calls for proposals will be released in 2021(Closed), July 2022(Closed) and November 2022(now open) for projects that support the growth and development of the cultural and creative sectors of Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda 

The call for applications opens on 22 November to 23 December 2022. Find the how-to apply video , guidelines for applications, FAQs and other helpful guidelines in the downloads section below. 


Applicants may apply for grant funding of between € 30,000 to € 180,000. For application, this is divided into three tiers:

  • Tier 1 -Applicants can apply for a fixed amount of € 30,000
  • Tier 2- Applicants may apply for an amount  between € 31,000 and €90,000
  • Tier 3- Applicants may apply for an amount between €91,000 and € 180,000

Eligible organisations/individuals need to be registered no later than 31st December 2017 and must have audited statements either for half year period or a full year period for the year 2017 and/or 2018.

(However,if your organisation was registered after 31st December 2017 and is still interested in Ignite Culture, you can apply as part of a group with an organisation which was registered on or before 31st December 2017)

The primary purpose of all projects awarded funding under this programme must be the growth and development of the cultural and creative sectors of one or more of the eligible fourteen (14) Eastern African countries. All proposed projects must be implemented within a maximum of 6 months 

Lead applicants may apply with any of the following:

  • Co-applicants from their own country
  • Co-applicants from the 14 countries eligible for the fund
  • Co-applicants from an EU state
  • Co-applicants from another ACP country in Africare a as follows:

ACP West Africa- Benin ,Burkina Faso ,Cape Verde ,Gambia ,Ghana ,Guinea ,Guinea Bissau ,Cotd’Ivoirere,Liberia ,Mali ,Mauritania ,Niger ,Nigeria ,Senegal ,Sierra Leone ,Togo

ACP Central Africa-Cameroo n, Central African Republic,Cong o, Gab on,Equatorial Guin ea,Democratic Republic of Congo(DR C),Sao Tome and Principe(ST P), Chad

ACP Southern Africa-Zamb in,Zimbabwe we,Botswana an, Lesot ho, Mala wi, Mozambique ue,Namb is, South Afri ca, Eswatini(formerly Swaziland).

Eligible Requirements:

  1. The lead applicant organization must demonstrate that a minimum 51% ownership(by shareholding/directorship) is held by citizens of any one of the 14 eligible countries of Eastern African region.
  2. The lead applicant organization must demonstrate that it was registered on or before 31st December 2017
  3. The lead applicant organization must have audited statements either for a half year period or full year period for the year 2017 and/or 2018.
  4. The lead applicant organization must have directly implemented 50% within the creative and cultural sector the amount the grant requested,at any time between Jan 2017 and December 2018
  5. All proposed projects from cycle 3 of Ignite Culture call for applications must be implemented within a maximum of 6 months.Any project that exceeds 6 months will be disqualified 

Eligible Value Chains :

The lead applicant organization must be working in any of the following value chains:

Cultural and Natural HeritageMuseums,archeological and historic places,Cultural landscapes,natural heritage,archives,cultural preservation work,cultural food and cuisine,hair,beauty and cosmetic products
Performance and CelebrationPerfoming arts,recorded music,festivals(music,film,theatre,poetry etc)fairs,feasts 
Cultural InfrastructurePhysical infrastructure,digital infrastructure 
Visual Arts and CraftsFine arts,photography,crafts 
Books and PressBooks,newspapers and magazines,other printed matter,ebooks,physical libraries,virtual libraries,books fairs 
Audio Visual and interactive MediaDesign and Creative servicesFilm,TV,radio,podcasting,vlogging,video games,Virtual Reality(VR),Augmented Reality(AR) and new mediaFashion,apparel and accessories design,interior design and decorative home,graphic design,architecture 
Creative and Cultural EducationTraining,workshops,curriculum development 
Intangible Cultural Heritage Oral traditions and expressions,rituals,languages,social practices,food and cuisine practices,hair,beauty and cosmetic practices 

Table1-Eligible value chains:Ignite Culture 2022

Application Process:

Online applications open on 22nd November 2022 . watch the ‘How to apply’ video: a step by step guide by Mars Maasai  for a detailed understanding of the application process.

Other helpful materials to guide the development of your proposal include:

All the above documents can be found in the Downloads section below.

Evaluation Process:

Applications will be examined and evaluated by HEVA fund and British Council with the possible assistance of external assessors.A fully completed and submitted applications made to the online application system before the deadline will receive written notification of decisions made about their submission.All applications will be assessed following the steps listed below:

Step 1-Initial Sieve:

This is a simple check to ensure  that the instructions on how to fill in the application form have been followed,and that the templates provided have been used to upload the requested information.During this stage we also check that the application meets the eligiblity criteria on business registration and years of operation in the CCI sector.only those that meet the criteria will move to the next stage

Step 2- Business Panel:

Panel members assess the businesses by looking at:

  1. Revenues specific to the creative and cultural industries for the year 2017 and 2018 only-in comparison to the funding ask
  2. Presence of audited financial statements
  3. The organisation team

Step 3- Creative Panel:

Panel members generate a shortlist through an assessment of:

  1. The relevance of the project in the sector
  2. The trends in the sector,competitors and strength of the brand
  3. Aesthetic of the proposed project
  4. The proposed project and its target market
  5. Social media presence
  6. Diversity and inclusion considerations

Step 4-Pitch sessions:

The organisations that make the shortlist to stage 4 are invited for a pitch session,to allow further explanation of their proposed project and additional assessmentsby the panel members.The aim of this stage is to see how well the applicants understand their organisation,finances,project,and sector.

The viability and sustainability of the proposed project will also be considered

Stage 5-Due Diligence:

At this stage the evaluation team will be looking to better understand the organisation’s structures in terms of legal,financial management,team structure,tax structure and compliance and KYC(Know your customer) details.The evaluation team will also perfom a risk analysis on organisations who have made it through to this stage.

Stage 6- Contracting:

Applicants who have made it through due diligence are considered successful applicants.They are called for a series of conversations about project milestones,eligible expenses and contracting.Once the contract is signed,fund disbursement and project implementation can begin

Approximate Timeline for application evaluation:

Update coming soon.


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