British Council Creative Economy

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South Africa

South Africa's creative scene has become a burgeoning sector of potential, while the continent as a whole has the youngest population in the world. Both elements are impacting on the future of the creative and cultural sectors, creating and empowering a new creative landscape.

South Africa has a population of almost 53 million and is the second largest economy in Sub-Saharan Africa (Nigeria being the largest) and the 28th largest in the world. Young people make up the majority of the population with 77.6% being under 35. However, South Africa’s youth unemployment is amongst the highest in the world, making it one of their most pressing socio-economic issues and the main theme around all of our programming activity there.

With a growing commitment from the government to optimise the creative industries’ impact on social and economic growth, we have been working to create a programme around the support and elevation of 18-34 year olds working within the creative and cultural sector. From influencing policy and developing leadership and advocacy, to encouraging collaborations and supporting skills and opportunities for young entrepreneurs, our programme in South Africa aims to empower young people within this sector.

Our activity in South Africa aims to improve entrepreneurial and leadership capacity, while also improving access points for young people entering creative career paths. 

Our work in South Africa forms part of Connect ZA, a British Council arts programme which runs from 2013-15, building cultural connections between young people in the UK and South Africa.

4 Organisations/people to follow:

Uno de Waal, Between 10 and 5 (@10and5) showcase and profile the best of South Africa's creative talent online.
LIVE Magazine SA, (@LiveMagSA) is a nationwide youth-run (18-25 year olds) media channel covering a range of topics from fashion, politics, music, art, relationships, career advice, events and gigs. Run by Gavin Weale, winner of our UK YCE Publising Award in 2010.
Jana + Koos, (@janaandkoos) have been redefining the way in which brands engage with their audience with innovative campaigns, experiences and art projects (including our Connect ZA identity)
Creative Nestlings, (@creativenestlin) focuses on nurturing a curious, creative, innovative, and entrepreneurial mind-set among the youth of this country by stimulating conversations on creativity.