Art & CultureNews

AU Launches Young Africans Writing Contest  

ADDIS ABABA – The African Union’s Economic, Social, and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC) has launched the second edition of the Young Africans Writing Contest that aims to bridge the gap between African youth and the Union.

Starting in 2021, the AU says the YAWC contest would empower youths to reflect on their contributions to the advancement of the continent and provides them with a free space to articulate themselves.

For the 2022 edition, ECOSOCC has partnered with German development agency GIZ, calling young Africans to pen their ideas around migration and mobility issues on the continent. 

The inaugural contest was hugely successful, drawing over a thousand participants from all over the continent. The African Union expects the same this year.

Denise Kodhe, ECOSOCC’s Presiding Officer, encouraged young African writers to continue to hone their craft by participating in such endeavors. 

On the topic of migration, Kodhe said that humanity was at the heart of migration.

“We want a continent that is integrated, so migration has always been part and parcel of African life. We want Africans to travel around the continent freely,” he said.

The population of young Africans is expected to double from the current 480 million to 840 million by 2050, making Africa the youngest population. 

Today, millions of children are on the move within and across borders and with or without parents or guardians.  As a consequence, the AU says children contribute and are part of large-scale population movements that are currently taking place in many parts of the world. 

In this context, the 2022 edition of the YAWC was launched under a theme, ‘Children and Migration’, specifically ‘Children on the Move’ in a bid to encourage the youth to reflect on children and migration issues on Africa.

Miss Daniela Odong, last year’s winner, encouraged young people to take part in the contest, noting that YAWC was an opportunity for young people to speak on issues that mattered to them.

Registered high school students, who are residents and citizens of an AU member state and can write in any of the official languages of the Union, are eligible for the contest that opened on July 16, 2022, and will close at midnight on September 16, 2022.  Winners will be announced during an Awards Ceremony in November 2022.