In 2011, Arterial Network, in partnership with Africalia and the African Arts Institute, issued out a call for projects relating to the decentralisation of the arts on the African continent.

The purpose of decentralising the arts is two-fold: firstly to build new audiences –or market- forthe arts; and secondly, to assert the right of all, as per Article 27 of the Universal Declarationof Human Rights, to participate freely in the cultural life of the community and to enjoy the arts.

Decentralisation in this instance is defined in a numbers of ways: 

a. Touring products/disseminating goods and services beyond the major centres of a particular country

b. Touring products/disseminating goods and services from one country to another country or series of countries i.e. building regional markets, which at the same time facilitates exchange/collaboration between different artists and

c. Providing access to the arts to people, communities and groups who may not traditionally have access to the arts. Given the above definition, as well as the criteria set out for the call, 6 projects were selected representing 4 regions of the continent: Togo (West Africa), Democratic Republic of Congo (Central Africa), Kenya (East Africa) and in Southern Africa -South Africa, Malawi and Swaziland.

This booklet contains a concise summary of each project - the context, its challenges and its social impact on the arts and culture sector for each country. If you would like to get in touch with any of the projects contained herein, please email