Tanzania: Cultural Diplomacy Projects

Tanzania: Cultural Diplomacy Projects


Project Details

Organisation Description

The East Africa Art Biennale organises arts and crafts exhibitions in Dar-es-Salaam every two years, with an aim to promote the culture and contemporary visual and performing arts of East Africa. EASTAFAB is a not-for-profit, non-governmental organisation that has been registered under the Tanzanian National Council of Arts since 2003. The organisation is funded by grants, donations and sponsorships from the Moroccan government as well as from various international organisations and governmental bodies.

Project Description

EASTAFAB also has the objective to improve the skills, careers, living, and working conditions of artists in the region of East Africa. Since 2003, four exhibitions have taken place, with the next starting in November 2011. During each Biennale, over one hundred East African artists have been invited together with international guest artists. The Biennale has grown over the years, bringing in artists from the East African countries of Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda alongside widening international participation. During the third edition of the Biennale in 2007, guest artists from 23 countries participated, including artists Belgium, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Canada, Croatia, Cuba, Denmark, Nigeria, Sudan and Norway.

The East Africa Art Biennale of 2011 will, in addition to the exhibition, include various lectures and workshops. Following the event in Dar-es-Salaam in November, the exhibition will be transported to Nairobi (Kenya), Kampala (Uganda), Kigili (Rwanda) and Bujumbura (Burundi), making EASTAFAB the first travelling biennale in the world.

Aims of the Project

–          To contribute to the promotion of contemporary art in the region of East Africa.

–          To contribute to a unified East Africa, as well as allowing interaction between local and foreign artists.

Relevance as Cultural Diplomacy

The East Africa Art Biennale provides a good example of how, through the vehicle of art, an organisation can work towards enhanced mutual understanding and stability in a certain region. Collaboration through the arts is an invaluable part of cultural diplomacy, since it gives participants and audience an opportunity to engage in inter-cultural cooperation.


Project Details

  • Country:        Tanzania/Norway
  • Telephone:   +47 415 085 48 / +255 784 554 662 9
  • Email:             egil@nota-project.org, filemon@nota-project.org
  • Website:        www.nota-project.org
  • Sponsored by: the Tanzanian government training institution TaSUBa, the Stavanger School of Culture, and the University of Stavanger

Organisation Description

The NOTA-project is an inter-cultural collaboration network between the Tanzanian government training institution TaSUBa, the Stavanger School of Culture (SSC) and the University of Stavanger (Department of Music and Dance). The project was initiated in 1999 with the objective of strengthening the institutional capacity of TaSUBa, a government training institution under the Tanzanian Ministry of Information, Culture and Sports. The institution offers practical training in dance, drama, music and fine arts. The project also aims at strengthen the intercultural collaboration between Tanzania and Norway.

The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs is the main financial contributor to the NOTA-project, but it also receives funding from Stavanger School of Culture, the University of Stavanger and the Bagamoyo College of Arts in Tanzania. For the year of 2011, the total budget for the project is NOK 856,000. The Norwegian Embassy contributes with NOK 750,000; the SSC with NOK 35,000; and the BCA with NOK 1,000 (see website for detailed budget).

Project Description

The strengthening of the institutional capacity of TaSUBa includes activities such as training workshops for TaSUBa management and workshops for the training of teachers. Activities aimed at strengthening intercultural collaboration between Tanzania and Norway are primarily based on the Ngoma-project, a project based in primary schools in the Stavanger municipality in Norway. Through this project, students get the opportunity to learn and gain experience of East African culture.

Other activities enabled through the NOTA-project are student exchanges between the University of Stavanger and the Bagamoyo College of Arts, and various artist exchanges. These activities are primarily targeted at children and youths involved in fine arts, music or dance in the Stavanger municipality in Norway and in the Bagamoyo municipality in Tanzania.

Since the start of the NOTA-project, evaluations have been accomplished annually, with the concluding remarks that the NOTA-project should continue within the foreseeable future.

Aims of the Project

Aims of the project include enhancing intercultural collaboration between Norway and Tanzania through various arts mediums.

Relevance as Cultural Diplomacy

In the exchange of knowledge and practice between Norway and Tanzania in the field of cultural institutional management and educational exchange, the NOTA-project not only contributes to the diplomatic ties between Norway and Tanzania, but also enables increased mutual understanding between the two countries through its student exchange programme.


Project Details

  • Country:        Tanzania
  • Telephone: +255 784 55 46 629
  • Email:            mut@cats-bet.com
  • Website:        www.mfuko.or.tz
  • Sponsored by: Tanzanian Ministry of Information, Culture and Sports, The Swedish Government, and private donors

Organisation Description

Mfuko is a non-for-profit, semi-autonomous organisation with close ties to the Tanzanian Ministry of Information, Culture and Sports. The organisation was established in November 1998, as an outcome of a joint agreement between the governments of Tanzania and Sweden. Mfuko is directed by a board of trustees comprising members from various cultural sectors within Tanzania and Tanzanian civil society, as well as representatives from the Swedish government. The initiative is funded by the Government of Sweden and the Government of Tanzania as well as by donations from various local cultural stakeholders in Tanzania.

Project Description

The main mission of Mfuko is to develop a strong, competitive and dynamic cultural sector in Tanzania, which can contribute to overall national development and poverty alleviation. The primary activity of Mfuko is to provide grants to various cultural projects and cultural activities in Tanzania, and in doing so focus on six main cultural constituencies: cultural heritage, film and audio visual, cultural industry, performing arts, language and literature, and fine arts and crafts. Three types of grants are provided: ‘institutional grants,’ that aim at building institutional capacity for competence and networking on cultural activities; ‘production and incentive grants,’ that intend to stimulate production among groups, organisations and companies whose projects fall within the framework of the culture sector, and ‘cultural exchange grants,’ with the main objective to promote and support regional and international culture cooperation. Through these grants, Mfuko helps cultural actors all over Tanzania to initiate, develop and improve their marketability as well as their networks with each other. Since its inception, Mfuko has provided 302 grants to various cultural projects in Tanzania.

Aims of Project

–          To promote individual and organisational achievements, and to strengthen cultural actors, practitioners and activities.

–          To reward excellence within the cultural sector.

–          To network with similar regional, as well as international institutions and organisations engaged in the promotion and strengthening of cultural sectors in their countries in order to enable, encourage and promote regional socio-economic integration and sustainable development.

Relevance as Cultural Diplomacy

Through the provisions of grants, Mfuko attempts to strengthen and develop cultural activities within Tanzania, as well as between Tanzania and other countries, with the wider objective of socio-economic integration and sustainable development. Mfuko is an example of how a regional organisation or institution can, through the vehicle of culture, contribute to regional as well as national advancement.


Project Details

  • Country:        Tanzania
  • Telephone: +255 222 863 748
  • Email:            basata06@yahoo.com
  • Website:        www.basata-tz.org
  • Sponsored by: The National Arts Council and the Cultural and Arts Journalists Association

Organisation Description

Sanaa Press Talk is a project initiated and executed by the Tanzanian governmental body National Arts Council (Basata) in partnership with the non-governmental organisation Cultural and Arts Journalists Association (CAJA). The first Sanaa Press Talk was broadcasted on February 17th  2010, being inaugurated by the Tanzanian Deputy Minister of Information, Culture and Sports; Joel Nkaya Bendera. The program is broadcast weekly, every Monday at 10.30 am.

Project Description

As a radio program, the Sanaa Press Talk works as an information platform for the arts and cultural sector, as well as an information portal for the wider community of Tanzania. Thus, the radio program is seen as a tool for enhancing communication within the cultural sector and enables the exchange of information. The show also contributes to discussion and debate, and forms a basis for the dissemination of information and ideas on various thematic areas within the arts and culture sector. The objective of the programme is thus not only to ease communication and dialogue within the culture and arts sector, but also to reach out to the ears of the public. In so doing, the show promotes a broader understanding of the value of arts and culture, and the potentials for culture to empower not only individual artists but also the entire society.

Aims of Project

–          To foster the unity between all stakeholders within the arts and culture sector, as well as between the sector and the wider community;

–          To make the public aware of Basata as a centre for artists and other culture stakeholders;

–          To officially introduce Basata as a centre for discussion, as well as exchange of information, ideas, values and views among artists, media and other stakeholders within

the cultural sector of Tanzania.

Relevance as Cultural Diplomacy

Sanaa Press Talk is a fine example of how a governmental institute, in this case the Tanzanian Basata, has initiated a project aimed at facilitating a platform for information and debate. Through its activities, the project contributes to the continuation of bridge-building and peaceful relations within the multiethnic Tanzanian society.


Project Details

  • Country:        Tanzania
  • Telephone:   None listed
  • Email:             None listed
  • Website:        www.kilitime.co.tz
  • Sponsored by: Ministry of Information, Culture and Sports in collaboration with The Kilimanjaro Premium Lager Brand

Organisation Description

The Tanzania Music Awards is a project organised annually by the Tanzanian National Arts Council (Basata), working under the Ministry of Information, Culture and Sports in collaboration with The Kilimanjaro Premium Lager Brand. The Tanzania Music Awards was initiated in 1999, in an effort to establish a mechanism for identifying and rewarding national artists within Tanzania.

Project Description

Every year, Tanzanian artists from all over the country have the opportunity to participate in the Tanzania Music Awards, competing in various musical categories. The awards have become increasingly popular and successful over the years, resulting in more regional musicians and musical styles being recognized nationwide. The winners of the awards are offered a TSH 10,500,500 cash prize. When participant musicians have been nominated, the people of Tanzania have the possibility to vote for the best contribution either by post, by email or through the organisation’s website. The awards target Tanzanian musicians of all categories as well as the wider public, through involving then in the election of the winners.

Aims of the Project

–          To promote, revive and preserve all Tanzanian artistic values;

–          To protect Tanzanian cultural heritage;

–          To preserve Tanzanian ethics through music.

Relevance as Cultural Diplomacy

The Tanzania Music Awards contributes to the area of cultural diplomacy within Tanzania, through its attempt to highlight and bring forward musicians from different regions of the country. In this manner, both artists and public are enlightened about cultural differences and various cultural expression forms within Tanzania, contributing to the strengthening of Tanzanian cultural heritage.



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