Arts Programme Manager: West Africa

Position: Arts Programme Manager in West Africa | Organisation: Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia (Africa)  |  Period: 50% part-time on a mandate basis, two-year contract | Application Deadline – 31 January 2022 | Submit Application: 

The Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia is looking to collaborate with an arts and cultural professional with profound knowledge of the field locally, in developing new partnerships and programming in West Africa, with particular attention given to the urban centres of Lagos, Accra, Dakar, Bamako, Ouagadougou and Abidjan, and their surrounding artistic ecosystems.

Working closely with the Pro Helvetia Johannesburg team and colleagues in Switzerland and across our international network, the professional will act as a locally based facilitator of partnership and connection with the Swiss arts field. The selected professional will develop an initial portfolio of strategic projects and collaborations in key urban centres across (principally) West Africa during the course of the period 2022-23.


  • Identification and mapping of relevant networks and partners in West Africa for engagement with the Swiss arts scene, with consideration also given to already existing relationships (venues, festivals, biennales, museums, independent spaces, collectives, cultural/creative businesses, other platforms)
  • Planning and facilitation of online exchanges and research trips, involving relevant partners in the region, and from Switzerland in both directions
  • Conceptualising and planning of an initial set of joint projects and collaborations, involving partners from Switzerland and the region
  • Cultivating relationships with new partners, recognising their needs and points of contact with our mandate, and encouraging new and relevant proposals from partners shaped by these interactions.
  • Technical support to partners in the region seeking to access Pro Helvetia funding to support artistic exchanges and/or the presentation of Swiss work in the region
  • Adjudication of proposals submitted by artists and partners from the region, in consultation with Pro Helvetia Zurich and the Head of Pro Helvetia Johannesburg
  • Supporting the communication of Pro Helvetia’s mandate and work more generally in the region 

Expected Skills, Knowledge and Experience: 

  • Wide-ranging knowledge of the cultural field in West Africa, coupled with specific disciplinary experience
  • Familiarity with the international (incl. European) arts environment and strong cross-cultural sensibilities
  • Excellent communication and networking skills
  • Substantial experience in the execution and management of arts and cultural projects, including financial administration (as a freelance cultural manager and/or within an organisational/institutional context)
  • Fluency and professional competence in spoken and written French and professional competence in spoken and written English
  • A relevant undergraduate qualification, or equivalent qualification/professional experience
  • Good organisational and interpersonal skills, a generous team spirit and a hands-on work approach

Additional Advantages: 

  • Specific knowledge and experience in the performing arts field
  • Knowledge and experience of the Swiss arts scene
  • Knowledge and experience of the Central African arts scene (Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, and Gabon)

Applicants should normally already be primarily based (i.e. more than 50% of their time) in, or in meaningful proximity to, one or more of the following urban centres: Lagos, Accra, Dakar, Bamako, Ouagadougou, Abidjan.

The Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia Offers: 

We initially offer a two year part-time (50%) contract, subject to renewal based on significant preliminary results as detailed in a work agreement. You will work 2.5 days per week, corresponding to a workload of 50% for an initial period of two years, with a 3-month review period.

Remuneration is determined based on experience and qualifications and benchmarked against team salaries in our Johannesburg office.

How to Apply: 

Candidates should submit a 1-page motivating letter outlining their suitability for the role together with a CV and at least two contactable references to Please include the reference “West Africa Programme Manager position” in the subject line of your email. For system-related reasons please provide all relevant information in Word or PDF attachments and do not include significant information or links in the text of the email itself. Please note that incomplete applications will not be considered.

The deadline for submissions is 31 January 2022.

Inquiries or questions of clarification about the role may be directed to Joseph Gaylard at

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