U40 Cultural Leadership Program

The U40 Cultural Leadership Program was launched in January 2018 to promote leadership excellence in cultural and creative sectors. It was created in response to the difficulties many cultural organisations in Zimbabwe and Africa face in recruiting and retaining visionary and innovative university graduates who have the capacity to meet the industry’s current and future needs. The core administrative costs of this programme are met by Creative Economy Outlook Zimbabwe, an initiative of Nhimbe Trust.

How it works

  • Annually, the Cultural Leadership Program selects two graduate students who undertake an individually tailored and flexible program of activities that is designed to meet their personal development needs, prospective career paths and gaps in the creative industry. The program is divided into 3 three strands:
  • Work based opportunities: supporting professional placements in network and partner organisations
  • Intensive Leadership development: formal learning opportunities through mentorships
  • Entrepreneurship is leadership narrative: accelerated development of entrepreneurial skills based on industry needs and best practices from countries that have a vibrant creative industry

Program’s Methodology

  • Problem based
  • Research based
  • Practice based
  • Action oriented
  • Peer to peer learning


  • Citizens of African countries aged between 20 and 40
  • Graduates from African universities / creative industry professionals with a 5-year experience 
  • Applicants should be able to source their own funding to participate in the program
  • Be resident in Zimbabwe for 6 months minimum and 12 months maximum


Applications for 2019 will open soon.

Achieve a balanced flow of cultural goods and services, increase the mobility of artists and cultural professionals.

Integrate culture in sustainable development frameworks.

Promote human rights and fundamental freedoms.