As part of our programmes in the West African Cluster, we are running a Festivals programme through which we programme young emerging artists from the UK in West African Festivals and vice versa. The programme also includes a training strand through workshops and short secondments in UK and West Africa.

The Festivals Programme will;

  • Increase the artistic, technical and management skills of arts and culture festival management teams in Nigeria and other countries in West Africa.
  • Provide networking opportunities for festival managers from West Africa and the UK to enhance the sharing of best practice and collaboration
  • Strengthen the festivals sector in West Africa to enhance their capacity to create opportunities for engagement with the international sector, while achieving economic and social impact for their host communities.


Research conducted in three cities in Nigeria identified skills gaps as a key obstacle to the growth and sustainability of both public and privately funded arts and culture festivals in Nigeria. A subsequent Memorandum of Understanding ( MoU) between British Council and the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture sets out an agreement for both organisations to work together to develop festival management skills across Nigeria to enhance the capacity of the festival sector to contribute to overall cultural and creative economy growth. 

We have delivered 3 phases of training to 40 independent and public festival managers from Ghana, Gambia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. 


Through Lagos Theatre FestivalOpen House Lagos and Film Connections  we programme young, emerging artists in UK and West African festivals to foster collaborative activities between them.

We also have a festival fund open to festivals in Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and the UK who wish to programme international artists or work on a collaborative project. Successful festivals will be announced on 30 April. 

Festival Fund

We also have a festival fund to support artistic and management exchange and skills development between festivals in Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and the UK . Festivals we are supporting in 2018 / 2019 will be announced on 30 April 2018. The next round of applications will open in December 2018 for festivals in April 2019 onwards.