Essay theme

Created by the African Union (AU) in 2007 as a roadmap to encourage better governance across the continent, African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance (ACDEG), sets out international standards of good governance and democracy in such areas as rule of law, free and fair elections, and condemning unconstitutional changes of government. Some 39 countries have signed the charter as at December 2012

Recent studies found that the charter has gotten little attention or recognition from governments and civil society in Africa since it came into force in February 2012. There is an absence of political will to implement and enforce it, and few citizens are aware of it, the studies concluded.

However, current happenings on the continent including elections in multiple countries, the Arab-Spring and the increasing voice of young people using social media platforms to shape national discourse around Governance, Democracy and elections in African countries provide a fertile ground for the charter’s acceptability on the continent.

Share creative ideas and approaches on how the charter can become popularized and domesticated in your country. This should also detail thoughts on how young people can be motivated to show interest in the document. The essay should also include thoughts on how the adoption of the document would affect the practice of democracy and governance in Africa. We would also love to hear from you the benefit(s) that this would rub off on your country’s national development. And more specifically, how you can clearly and creatively ensure the content of the continental document is known and understood by your peers.


The essay would be assessed based on simplicity of ideas proposed, elegance of language, originality, relevance of ideas, creativity and references. Please note that plagiarism is not permitted. The choice of reference style rests with the writer.


The essay must be written in English language.


Every essay entry must have a cover page with the following details – Essay title, full name (surname first), age, sex, profession (with details), physical address, email address, twitter handle, telephone number and total word count of essay. Subsequent pages should be the essay entry with title of essay and page numbers established as footer on each of the pages. The references should make up the last page(s); (Please note the instructions carefully).


The contest is open to young Africans who are from member states of the African Union who must be between ages 15 and 35 as at December 31st, 2013 in accordance with the African Youth Charter


The length of the essay should not be more than 1,500 words asides the title and references. Submitted essay must be time stamped before 11:01pm GMT, November 6, 2013 (there would be no extension of deadline). All submissions should be word document attached as a single document in an email and sent to Essay should be submitted with ‘ACDEG Essay and your full name’ as the subject line.


10 winners will be announced on November 13, 2013. Prizes would be awarded to the top three winners in addition to a certificate of accomplishment. The winning essays would be published online.

First Prize – Samsung Galaxy S4

Second Prize – Samsung Mini Laptop

Third Prize – 1 Terabyte Hard-drive

The Top 3 winners will be invited to attend the Youth Consultation on the 2nd Annual High Level Dialogue on Governance and Democracy in Africa, which will hold in Late November 2013 in Senegal


By submitting an entry for this competition, it is assumed that the work is an original effort of the author and has not been published anywhere else. The copyright of the essay is also transferred to the organisers and it means they can use part or whole of the document for promotional purpose or for any other legal reason it deems fit. It is also assumed that all personal details provided by the author are correct and verifiable. The judges’ decision will be final and the organisers would not enter into any correspondence with any competitor based on the final result of the contest.

Deadline – 11pm GMT, November 6, 2013.

Organisers: the African Union Department of Political Affairs organizes this essay competition with support from Oxfam Novib and Youthhubafrica

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Rotimi Olawale, co-founder of is a youth development expert. For more than six years he has been involved in leading youth advocacy efforts mainly around the Millennium Development Goals. In 2006, he represented Nigeria as a youth ambassador at the United Nations Global Youth Leadership Summit held at the UN Headquarters in New York. Rotimi has held several global leadership positions including; member, UNFPA Global Youth Advisory Panel for 2 years; member, African Youth Panel. Rotimi is currently involved in shaping local, national and global policies to benefit youth and also leverage opportunities for young people. He was listed by the Nigerian government as one of 15 Nigerian youth on the world stage in 2008.