The new office and position will have a pivotal role to play in the development of policies and training programmes, and underlines Selam’s commitment to the arts and creative industries in Africa.
The 28-year-old joins with more than five years of experience as a music journalist, music curator and cultural activist, advocating and defending artistic freedom of expression in East, West and Central Africa. She has worked with several African organisations including the Music In Africa Foundation, Nation Newspaper, The Elephant, Arterial Network, Ketebul Music and the Haus der Kulturen der Welt (House of World Cultures) in Berlin.
In this new position, she will serve as the liaison to the region, assess the arts and cultural landscape, and
extend Selam’s programmes to the creative community from Nairobi, Kenya. She will also liaise with donors, governmental and other development actors, alliance partners and relevant advisors in the cultural space to influence cultural policies.
”This is a new journey for us at Selam that will play a crucial role in the development of Selams various pan-African efforts in the field of culture”, says Teshome Wondimu, director of Selam. ”With new office and regional program director together with our office in Stockholm, Addis, Kampala and partners in different parts of Africa, we will develop our work in the field of culture by immersing ourselves in the different perspectives such as democracy, human rights, freedom of speech, job creation, peace and reconciliation, institution building, digitalization and tech”
Commenting on her new role, Ilado said: “I am excited to have been selected to execute Selam’s vision and ambition to support the development of the creative sector in Africa. I look forward to collaborating with the academia, government agencies and other stakeholders to strengthen intellectual property rights and cultural policies as well as identify strategies to promote and defend artistic freedom of expression across the sector.
Selam has a great track record of excellence and I very much look forward to what the future holds.”
Selam has worked for over 20 years in cultural development and development aid and has offices in Stockholm (Sweden), Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Kampala (Uganda) and an Africa regional office in Nairobi (Kenya).
In addition to its work on the African continent, Selam has utilised its vast experience and global network to develop and execute several cultural projects in Latin America and Asia.
The organisation recently launched the Pan-African Network for Artistic Freedom (PANAF), a new network- building initiative funded by the Swedish Arts Council. The initiative will be developed in collaboration with partners in Nigeria, Gambia, Mozambique, Zambia, Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia, with plans to involve several other countries in the future.
Panaf will primarily focus on the music and film sector with the intent to gradually involve artists, performers, journalists, writers, cultural workers and activists, as well as officials. It aims to establish a Pan-African network of creatives to strengthen collaborations at national, regional and continental levels, as well as to develop a digital platform for knowledge exchange and new initiatives.