Skip to content

Danish Centre for Culture and Development (CKU)

Kenya Culture and Development Programme 2014-2017

CKU and the Danish Embassy in Kenya support art, culture and creative industries in Kenya. The Danish support contributes to increase access to cultural activities outside the privileged urban centres and explore new opportunities in the growing creative economy
Denmark supports literary networks and organisations in Kenya that focus on nuanced narratives and opportunities for new talents outside the urban centres. Courtesy: Fatuma’s Voice

Kenya’s art and culture sector is characterised by a large pool of young (multi-) talented artists. Upcoming artists are backed up by alternative urban multidisciplinary organisations, a growing middle class demanding local products and the booming digital innovation. Many have found ways to make incomes by engaging in different art forms and dividing their work into both commercial art and fine art. However, unemployment is still a challenge for artists.

Exposure to film or literature is sporadic outside Nairobi, and both the non-urban population, women, and youth in general need more equal opportunities to access the creative economy as well as to take part in cultural activities and contribute to cultural life.

In close collaboration with the Danish Embassy in Nairobi, CKU has formulated the Kenya Culture and Development Programme, which includes the following:


Strengthening reading culture : Literary art is chosen as a key focus area in order to contribute to a strengthened reading culture in Kenya by providing easy access to literature through digital platforms and local literary events. Youth outside the urban centre of Nairobi is encouraged to take active part in literary events, writing programmes and readings in their counties to ensure the creation of new nuanced narratives.

Widening access to art and cultural activities : The application of new technology for distribution of literature to a new growing market of mobile users contributes to strengthened access to culture by reaching out to youth all over Kenya. The programme supports cultural activities such as film screenings, film debates and regular literary events in counties to enhance democratic dialogue.

Kick-starting new cultural and creative industries: In order to kick-start the release of the growth potential for creative and cultural industries in Kenya, the programme includes research (a value chain analysis for the arts and culture sector), documentation of the contribution of creative industries to the economy and a mentor- and entrepreneurship training for upcoming artists and cultural entrepreneurs. Support to local organisations that advocate for an enabling environment for creative industries is also integrated in the programme.

Talent and audience development : The film industry is one of the fastest growing creative industries in Kenya. Known as the Riverwood named after River Road, which is a dynamic creative business hub in Nairobi, the industry launches two to three films every week. To contribute to further growth for the subgenre documentary film and reach out to a potential documentary film audience and makers, a documentary film-screening programme is included.

Experienced and strong partners in Kenya are implementing the activities on the ground. The partners are Sarakasi Trust, Kwani Trust, Docubox (The East African Documentary Film Fund), Kenya Poets Lounge and the Nest.

The target group for access to art and culture is youth aged 15 to 24. A particular focus will be on girls/women. The primary target groups for capacity building are artists, art enterprises/organisations and other persons working at any level of a value chain linked to a specific artistic area.

The geographical focus of the programme is driven by the aim of widening access to art and cultural activities. The selected counties are Kisumu, Nakuru, Nyeri, Machakos, Mombasa, and Nairobi.

P.O. BOX 40412-00100 GPO
Tel: +254 20 7122848/ 7122849/7122850/7122851
Fax: +254 20 7120638



Report corruption

Submit feedback and complaints


Contact Person CKU

CKU Programme Manager
Christoph Lodemann
Phone: +45 33 38 97 36