The 3 African Cities in The UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN)

Published on: May 16, 2019


The UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) was created in 2004 to promote cooperation with and among cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development. The 116 cities work together towards a common objective: placing creativity and cultural industries at the heart of their development plans at the local level and cooperating actively at the international level. However there are only 3 African cities that are included in this, and they are:

Craft and Folk Art Cities

Lubumbashi, the copper and malachite industries have long been the backbones of the local economy.

Aswan, has remarkable heritage in crafts and folk arts, creative exchange, arts education, and civil engagement.  Its traditional crafts include beadwork, tablecloth production, palm branch and leaf creations, as well as clay and needle-work products.

Music City

Brazzaville an artistic hub, a historical city with a large number of cultural assets, in particular a heritage linked to diversity, music and the arts.

“African creatives are waking up to their own power, and there’s a higher appreciation for African-ness.”

PSquare at AfroBeats Festival

So we decided to do a virtual tour and find a few other cities that we could include in this list. The Creatively Artistic cities are;

Lagos, Nigeria
As the largest city in Africa and home to a booming technology scene, Lagos is a city brimming with creative opportunity. Terra Kulture, a lounge, theater, art gallery, and craft shop all under one roof.

Accra, Ghana
Accra is the capital and a hub for culinary connoisseurs and nightlife aficionados. It is fast becoming the creative outpost of the country.

Dakar, Senegal
Dakar is Senegal’s vibrant epicenter, home to the Dak’Art Biennale of Contemporary African Art gathering, the region’s only major international art fair.

Kigali, Rwanda

Explore the works of fashion designers like Linda Mukangoga of label Haute Baso who collaborates with local artisans and empowers young women to preserve traditional craftsmanship, Mukangoga is breathing new life into cultural designs like imigongo, a spiral of geometric shapes in shades of black, white, and red.

Johannesburg, South Africa
Galleries, museums, and a youthful emergence of contemporary artists fuel Johannesburg as the leading creative capital in Africa. Visit Goodman Gallery to view sociopolitical works from African artists and Gallery Momo for contemporary art from locals like sculptor and photographer Mary Sibande.