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Avril Joffe – South Africa

UNESCO Chair, Cultural Entrepreneurship and Policy, and a Research Associate (and former Head of Department) for Cultural Policy and Management at the School of Arts, University of the Witwatersrand

Avril Joffe has an MPhil in Development Studies from the University of Sussex and over thirty years of experience as a development economist specializing in arts and culture and the cultural and creative economies of Africa. As a dedicated educator and passionate lecturer her achievements include building the capacity of the Cultural Policy and Management department to offer courses and degrees at Honours, Masters and Doctoral levels in cultural entrepreneurship, cultural leadership, creative markets and audience engagement, and the complex intersection of culture, creativity and the economy.
Avril’s expertise extends beyond academia into policy development, organizational management, capacity building and evaluation of cultural and creative programmes.

At Wits School of Arts, her research intersects the realms of cultural policy, cultural economy, informality, decent work and urban development across the African continent. Avril is a valued and recognized member of the UNESCO Expert Facility on Cultural Policy and Governance, the Global Creative Economy Council for the UK’s Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre (Creative PEC) and the International Cultural Relations Research Alliance (ICCRA). She contributes significantly to international juries and adjudication panels and serves on the editorial boards of Public Humanities and the newly established African Journal of Creative Economy. She has served on the board of the National Arts Council in South Africa. Throughout her career, Avril has been dedicated to understanding and enhancing the role of culture and creativity in socio-economic development, with a special focus on the intricate dynamics of urban environments, the informal cultural economy and cultural and creative work.


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