One of the key deficiencies on the continent is the lack of sustainable national networks representing the interests of artists and the creative sector within their respective countries. There is little local funding for such advocacy groups that are often regarded as threats by authorities. However, both for democracy and for the improvement of the conditions and status of artists, national, regional and continental networks are crucial.
It is likely that funds have been secured to run an annual winter school for the next three years to train and develop artists' networks, unions and lobbies on the continent in sustainable forms of management, fundraising and lobbying. The intention is that by the end of three years, there will be significant national, regional and continental networks that are representative, democratic and sustainable and that would represent the interests of the sector as required, with the ARTerial Network - currently playing a catalytic role - eventually ceasing to exist.
The first such winter school will be held in June/July 2009 for representatives of artists' networks in at least ten African countries.