With the art sector in Nigeria rapidly developing, African Artists’ Foundation conceived of an initiative positioned to highlight the importance of investing in female artists, designers, and women in the arts and culture industries in Nigeria today. Early in its establishment, African Artists’ Foundation recognized a disproportionately low number of women participating in exhibitions and workshops compared with their male counterparts in the arts community in the region. The silence from this integral sector of the population, one with equally significant perspectives on personal, societal, cultural and political topics, was alarming. Toward this end, the Female Artists’ Platform was created as a programme designed to help encourage, challenge and develop women interested in visual art, and provide unimpeded opportunities for the expression of their perspectives and reactions. In particular, each edition examines themes that explore issues concerning women in contemporary Nigerian society.

The Female Artists’ Platform aims to draw attention to female artists and designers living and working in Africa, unearth and develop new talent, introduce new art forms, and highlight the diversity of women who are exploring ways to express themselves through visual art. Female Artist Development Project also hopes to challenge these artists to take bold steps in their creative concepts and processes, so they may have the freedom to create and exhibit works that are communicative, provocative and relevant. It seeks to shed light on the role of the artist in African society, to create awareness around female creative expression, and address her underrepresentation in the Nigerian contemporary art community. Currently in its third year, African Artists’ Foundation remains confident that the Female Artists’ Platform will continue to spur the development of artistic expression as a tool for empowerment and social development in Nigeria and Africa.