Courtesy of the British Council’s Developing Inclusive and Creative Economies (DICE) initiative in partnership with the Southern Africa Arts Programme, has selected and shaped 23 hub managers from Malawi, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe who recently took part in connect.hubs 2.0 programme in Lilongwe.

Participants of Connect hub 2.0

According to a statement, the programme is aimed at leaders of collectives or creative hubs who service communities and promote change in the fields of creative, social and digital innovation.

“The connect.hubs programme forms part of the Creative Hubs Academy, a joint learning programme by the British Council; Global innovation foundation, Nesta; and international organisation for social change, Hivos,” reads the statement in part.

Vanessa Chisakula from Zambia

The 23 hub managers, who hail from hubs such Mashonaland Central Creative Hub (Zimbabwe); Namibia Arts Fair (Namibia); Abantu Dance Group (Malawi); Mlambe Arts Theatre (Malawi) and Dzaleka Youth Congress (Malawi), amongst others, will take part in a one-year transformationa learning programme.

According to British Council Head of Programmes, McDonald Nyoni, participants have been provided with a structured and supportive environment, which allows them to step back from their day-to-day work and gain new skills and insights to help them shape and grow their hubs.

Praise Umali formerly of Zathu Band

“Creative hubs – whether physical or virtual – are a part of a worldwide movement for creative and social entrepreneurs to connect and support one another while developing their businesses in a nurturing environment,” Nyoni said in the statement.

“The connect.hubs 2.0 programme is delivered in four stages. At the core of the programme is a three-day capacity-building workshop. This is followed by a period of learning in action back at their hubsand then a two-day coaching retreat at the end of the programme. The process is concluded with participants applying for collaboration grants,” the statement added.

The planning and managing of all four stages of Connect.Hubs 2.0 Malawi has been delivered by a Lilongwe based creative hub, namely Jubilee Enterprise, in partnership with British Council.

Jubilee Enterprise Executive Director Karen Kumakanga

Executive Director of Jubilee Enterprise, Karen Chinkwita Kumakanga said the creative economy fosters culture and creativity and contributes to income generation
and self-employment in an era where unemployment is high, especially amongst women and youth.

“Jubilee Enterprise Malawi would to thank the British Council, Nesta, Hivos and other partners for creating a platform to catalyse the development of creative hubs in the
region as they are another building block of our economy,” she added.

Managing Director of The Coloured CubeMariapaola McGurk said her organisation is excited to be part of relevant and meaningful engagement between social and
creative hubs of Southern Africa.

“Hubs are a contemporary response to the changing ‘world of work’, allowing micro-
businesses to thrive and create connections and opportunities. They provide access to market, skills and entrepreneurial development and promote sustainability for
creative, social and hybrid enterprises,” she noted.

The content for the three-day capacity-building workshop, which launches in November, will be delivered by Nesta UK Associate alongside selected local trainers, The Coloured Cube and British Council.

Local trainers Kudzai Mubaiwa from Zimbabwe and Lekodi Magombo from Malawi will receive training from Nesta UK Associate EllenO’Hara, which will equip them with the necessary skills to co-deliver stage 2 and 3 of the connect.hubs 2.0 programme.

Founder of UbuntuLab, Mutsa Samuel Kejese, said with Africa on the verge of change, there is a need for people to think and feel differently about themselves.

“Tapping into authentic African creativity and nurturing a solid viable eco-system is
an approach I feel will contribute to making this a reality. The connect.hubs initiative is an exciting platform that brings various stakeholders in the creative economy and dares us to not only shift the African story, but add to the global one,” he said.

Jubilee Enterpriise will host creative and social hub managers from Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi for a Malawi hubs meeting edition; while The Coloured Cube will host creative and social hub managers from Mauritius, Botswana, Mozambique and South Africa – for a South Africa edition.

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