Tanzania Cultural Programme Phase 1

Nafasi Art Space
Nafasi Art Space © Nafasi Art Space

Switzerland supports Nafasi Art Space to foster cultural expressions, stimulate public engagement and enhance outreach of cultural productions. Young cultural managers are capacitated to improve the quality of cultural initiatives and micro grants are provided to amplify outreach. Furthermore, capacities of emerging cultural spaces, particularly in underserved regions, are strengthened to contribute to an accessible and inclusive cultural scene.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Culture / development awareness
Culture & recreation
01.05.2022 - 31.12.2025
CHF  1’180’000
Background The Tanzanian cultural scene has evolved over the past few decades, with music and dance remaining as the most popular art forms. While the sector has made good progress, many challenges remain. Insufficient arts and cultural education, shortage of skilled and qualified cultural managers, and lack of cultural infrastructure are some of the obstacles that prevent the sector from flourishing. There is generally limited availability of platforms where artists can exhibit, learn, share, perform and exchange their works. Most cultural activities are mainly concentrated in urban areas such as Dar es Salaam, Arusha and Zanzibar. Moreover, the arts and culture sector in Tanzania has been given very little attention and is constrained by severe lack of funding.
Objectives To contribute to an independent and diverse cultural scene that promotes artistic expression, strengthening social cohesion and inclusion.
Target groups The direct beneficiaries are independent cultural spaces, and cultural managers in Tanzania. A special attention will be given to young people, especially young women, and spaces in vulnerable and underserved communities. The indirect beneficiaries include artists and the general public. 
Medium-term outcomes
  1. Young artists from diverse backgrounds freely express and create their artistic works.
  2. Cultural spaces in underserved regions have improved capacities, provide platforms and public access to local art and culture, stimulating active public engagement.

Expected results:  

  • Nafasi Art Space is supported to provide the space and platform where young artists, cultural actors and audiences come to learn, create, perform and exchange.
  • Government and key stakeholders are actively engaged in dialogue to advocate for an arts-friendly policy environment.
  • Institutional capacities of selected emerging cultural spaces, especially those among marginalized and vulnerable populations, have improved. 
  • Skills and competencies of young and aspiring cultural managers, especially young women, are strengthened.

Results from previous phases:  

  • Institutional capacities, with a focus on financial management capacity, of Nafasi Art Space were strengthened.
  • Nine grantees (30% from outside Dar es Salaam) from various artistic disciplines received micro grants through the Swiss-funded Feel Free open call for proposals, completing 16 cultural events with over 50 artists engaged or trained.
  • Ten aspiring young art managers (50% women) successfully completed the six-month Curotorial Practice and Arts Management programme at the Nafasi Academy.
  • Two art initiatives (murals and music) to raise awareness on COVID-19 were completed, reaching approximately two million people via various social media platforms

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Project partners Contract partner
International or foreign NGO

Coordination with other projects and actors

Actors: Development Partners Group for Culture; Ministries of Culture (mainland and Zanzibar) and other government bodies such as the National Arts Council, Tanzania Film Board etc.;

Projects: Empowering Media in Tanzania and Safeguard Young People.

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    1’180’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    618’086
Project phases Phase 1 01.05.2022 - 31.12.2025   (Current phase)