Cultural Enablers

The “Cultural Enablers” program, spanning from 2014 to 2016 and funded by the Swedish International Cooperation Agency (SIDA), was dedicated to enhancing Ethiopia’s cultural landscape. It focused on raising professionalism among cultural actors, increasing awareness of women’s roles in culture, promoting inclusiveness, and creating opportunities for blind and visually impaired musicians.

Brief Information

This two-year initiative revolved around three core strategies: nurturing an enabling environment for cultural producers, strengthening democracy and human rights, and cultivating a diverse and inclusive music sector. Selam’s ultimate goal was to bolster the cultural sector, promoting its pivotal role in sustainable development, growth, peace, and harmony.

“Through this project, Selam aimed to drive social change by empowering and enabling cultural life. The long-term vision was to foster a society that respects the rights of all citizens, embracing diversity, democracy, gender awareness, and inclusivity within its cultural fabric.”

Selam, in collaboration with partner organizations, targeted cultural producers, with a specific focus on women artists, young cultural actors, and blind and visually impaired cultural producers. The project encompassed capacity-building for cultural organizations, information and communication activities within the sector, and advocacy towards policymakers.

The project addressed four major challenges:

  1. The insufficient professionalism of cultural producers, including barriers for women in the professional cultural sphere.
  2. The lack of policies, regulations, or their inadequate implementation.
  3. Weak institutional capacity.
  4. Diversity and rights issues, encompassing disability rights and youth perspectives.

Project Goals and Objectives:

Overall Objective:
To contribute to a strong, diversified, and inclusive music sector capable of harnessing cultural expression for the greater good and social development.

Project Specific Objectives:

  • Develop an enabling infrastructure for the cultural sector, including institutional capacity, policies, and sector regulations.
  • Elevate professionalism among cultural actors.
  • Raise awareness among key cultural stakeholders about women’s rights in cultural participation.
  • Promote non-discrimination principles and create opportunities for blind and visually impaired musicians.
  • Empower young men and women through culture.

Target Groups:

The project primarily benefited cultural sector actors and enablers in Ethiopia. It also extended its reach to three underserved groups within the cultural sector: visually impaired and blind musicians/artists, women, and adolescent boys and girls.


Project Outcome

The project achieved remarkable results in fostering inclusivity, raising awareness, and empowering cultural actors and enablers, contributing to a vibrant and diverse cultural landscape in Ethiopia.

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