Solidarity Fund for African Artists & Cultural Organizations (SOFACO)

Support for creation and resilience to African artists facing the COVID-19 crisis


Over the past few months, the entire world has been experiencing an unprecedented health crisis caused by the Coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19). This global crisis has resulted in paralyzing human activities, that could lead to predict immeasurable negative impacts on the development of the countries in the world.

In this rather particular context where no continent or country, or even sector of activity is spared, the creative sector is proving to be one of the most severely impacted sectors by the effects of the pandemic.

In many African countries, the majority of creation, production and distribution centers are closed and artists are idle, without prospects, many of them living between despair and dismay.

In such context, it becomes urgent and a priority to offer assistance and support mechanisms for artists so that creativity and artistic productivity do not stop, but also allow them to effectively resist the pandemic and preserve the socio-economic structure of the already fragile African creative sector.

In light of these findings, the African Culture Fund (ACF) is launching the present first batch of calls for projects which exclusively to the benefit of artists, through the Solidarity Fund for Artists and Cultural Organizations in Africa (SOFACO), in order to support African artists on whom the COVID- 19 crisis has had a negative effect. A second batch will be launched in June/July 2020 and will relate to cultural organizations (Batch No. 2: Special Covid-19/Cultural Organizations).

Types of eligible projects

For this Call for “Special Covid-19 / Cultural Organizations”, ACF is supporting applications in one of the following two categories of projects:

  • Category 1: Professional grants
    The professional grant is a subsidy to help a cultural organization cover all or part of its operating expenses which it cannot temporarily face, due to the crisis caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.
  • Category 2: Category 2: Requests for assistance to creation
    Assistance to creation has to do with any creative or artistic innovation project adapted to the context of Covid-19 in Africa.

The request for financial support

Cultural organizations candidates will have to demonstrate a situation of vulnerability (or a shortfall) arising from the health crisis of Covid-19, and submit an application, either for a professional grant or for assistance to creation (but not both at a time), as indicated at the end of this document.


General eligibility conditions for funding requests

To be eligible, cultural organizations applicants must meet the following conditions:

  • Be an artistic cultural organization operating in Africa, with at least five years of experience (proof of legal existence to provide)
  • Submit a document showing the artistic career, process and an overview of the artistic works of your organization (maximum3 pages).
  • Submit a résumé (biography) of the head of the organization.
  • Submit a letter of recommendation from at least one recognized reference person in the field of competency of your organization (pointing out the need and urgency to provide financial support to your organization)

Selected cultural organizations must submit the above required documents within a time limit set by ACF following the selection notification, failing which they will not be able to benefit from the financial support of the ACF.

The present Call covers all African countries.

ACF grant under this Call will not exceed an amount of $5,000 (Five thousand) United States Dollars per cultural organization. The funding covers a period between a minimum of 4 months and a maximum of 6 months.

The selection procedure follows five (05) steps:*

  1.  Recording of files.
  2. Administrative review of applications.
  3. Evaluation by the selection committee (Panel).
  4. Approval of the list of selected projects.
  5. Approval of funding allocation.

Applications will be assessed by an independent selection committee made of professionals working in the African cultural sector and knowledgeable of the artistic realities in the different African regions

The evaluation of applications by the selection committee will be based on four (04) criteria.

  1. Originality/innovation/creativity of the project or concept;
  2. Technical quality of the application;
  3. Financial quality of the project;
  4. The relevance to the current African or regional context and to the Covid-19 context (situation of vulnerability of the cultural organization in relation to the health crisis).

The Fund will sign a Grant Agreement with the beneficiary cultural organization. The Agreement will include information on the activities to be carried out, the grant amount, the disbursement schedule, and the delivery of implementation reports.

Funding to the selected projects will be disbursed in two (02) installments:

  •  80% of the grant, upon signing the Grant Agreement
  • 20% of the grant, at mid-term and upon submission and approval of the narrative and interim financial reports.


Activities Deadline
SOFACO Lot 2 launch announcement 24 September 2020
Deadline for requests for clarification  30 September 2020
Deadline for clarification by the ACF 7 October 2020
Deadline for submission of applications 31 October 2020
Release of the results of the assessment by the selection board 14 December 2020
Grant notification 15 December 2020
Grant Agreement signing Starting 24 December 2020


  • Applicants must complete an online funding request form via the following link:
  • Applications submitted by any other channel will not be considered.
  • Applications can be submitted in English or French.
  • The deadline for submitting of applications is October 31, 2020 at midnight GMT.
  • Incomplete applications will not be considered.
  • The applicant will receive an automatic acknowledgment email once the application has been received.
  • The results will be published on the ACF website and social networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram).

Only successful applicants will receive notification by ACF. The latter must then provide all the administrative documents mentioned above, within a time limit set by the ACF.

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