Essay Competition on the Role of Youth in Promoting Access to Information in Africa

The IDUAI 2021 Continental Youth Essay Competition is intended to facilitate youth awareness and participation of young people between the ages of 18 and 35 years in the adoption and implementation of the Access to Information Laws in Eastern Africa.

As part of the 2021 IDUAI celebrations, the Essay competition will harness the creativity and initiative of Africa’s youth in promoting the Right to Know, as well as inspire policymakers and society towards action, from the thoughts of youth from the 14 Eastern African countries regarding practical domestication of African Union Treaties that promote the Right of Access to Information and Freedom of Expression in Africa.

The IDUAI Continental Youth Essay competition is premised on the fact that young people are a major human resource for development and key agents for social change, economic growth and technological innovation. Participation in decision-making is a key priority area of the UN agenda on youth. Africa Freedom of Information Centre and its partners reaffirm their commitment to youth participation in the promotion of the right to information in Africa, at local, national and regional level; thus bringing them on board to discuss mechanisms to promote access to information in the region is very significant.

Through active participation, young people are empowered to play a vital role in their own development and in that of their communities, helping them to learn vital life-skills, develop knowledge on human rights and citizenship and to promote positive civic action. To take part effectively, young people must have access to timely and accurate information to make informed decisions.

Essay Sub-themes

The essay should be written along ONE of the UNESCO IFAP priority areas which include;

  • Information for Development
  • Information Literacy
  • Information Ethics
  • Information Preservation
  • Information Accessibility
  • Multilingualism

Guidelines of the competition

  1. The essay should be submitted by youth who are citizens from any of the Eastern Africa sub-region aged 18-35.
    Young women and differently abled persons are particularly encouraged to apply.
  2. There are no particular rules regarding formatting (font style, size, line space, etc.). However, essays must be submitted in MS WORD or PDF.
  3. The essay length should be between 800-1200 words, written in either English, French or Arabic languages.
    * Your name and essay title are not included in the word count limit.
  4. Entries must be submitted online. Send your essay entry to the email address
    * Only one entry per person is accepted.
    * We are unable to confirm receipt of essays due to the volume.
  5. Essays must be original and unpublished. Plagiarized entries will be rejected.
  6. Essays must be written by one person. Co-authored essays are not accepted.
  7. Copyright of the essays entered will be assigned to the organizer, with recognition given to the writer.


Essay Entries must be received by October 18th 2021 (23:59 East African Time).

Assessment of the essays

A panel of 5 judges will assess all essays submitted to choose the best 5 essays.


  1. We will announce essay winners on – October 22nd 2021 a head of the 75th anniversary of the United Nations.
  2. The top 5 essay participants (one per IFAP priority area) will attend and feature at the celebration of the 75th anniversary of the United Nations.
  3. The top 3 Essay participants will have a one on one online discussion with the UNESCO Regional Director about IFAP and the role of Youth.
  4. The top 5 essay participants will also feature on all our platforms and get a certificate of participation.

If you have questions, please contact