State of the Union Coalition (SOTU) Photography Competition 2016 ($500 Prize plus fully-funded trip to SOTU Regional Event in Africa)

Application Deadline:  Monday 7, March 2016

The State of the Union Coalition (SOTU) is a coalition of civil society organizations working together to advocate for the ratification, domestication, and implementation of African Union (AU) instruments (i.e. treaties, policy frameworks and standards). SOTU believes that the successful implementation of these instruments will have tremendous and positive impact on the lives millions of African citizens.

The year 2016 has been declared by the African Union as the African Year of Human Rights with Particular Focus on the Rights of Women. It affords African governments the opportunity to review and assess the human rights situation in Africa as well as entrench a culture of rights protection and respect for rule of law in their countries. It is also a time to commemorate achievement and progress made in the implementation of human rights standards on the continent.

Most importantly, the African Union recognises that Africans should be given the chance to tell their story as a means of raising awareness about realities and successes in their communities but also to inspire future generations (See AU’s Concept paper on Declaration of 2016 as African Year of Human Rights)

SOTU is publishing a book of papers, inspiring stories and commentaries from ordinary citizens, activists, young people and community leaders to commemorate the African Year of Human Rights but also to showcase the current state of human rights in Africa. The book offers the possibility of posting original photography that captures the essence of being African but also promotes positive outlook about human rights from an African perspective. It will also profile talent from the continent.


  • African citizens based in Africa can enter the contest.
  • SOTU secretariat and coalition staff and judges are not allowed to enter the contest.
  • Entries may have been taken from any camera, film (as scanned slides) or digital
  • Each individual can only upload an image into one category. But the overall winner will be selected from the categories.
  • Categories are:
    • Women leading and contributing to society as key players
    • Africa rising – imagery of positive developments and economic group
    • African landscape and nature
    • Youth Category: (Only for persons 18-30 years old) Photography of youth e.g. youth empowerment or youth movement or youth at play or at work
  • By submitting, the entrant warrants that the entry is their original work and they have not infringed on another rights or copyright.

Photograph Submission

  1. Prepare a brief with the following information in English or French:
    1. Personal information: Full names; Nationality; Country of residence; Age; Gender, Vocation/Profession
    2. Contact info: email address, physical address, telephone/mobile
    3. Title of the Photograph
    4. Description of the photograph or captions (100 words max)
    5. Location and country where the photograph was shot
    6. Award Category you are submitting to.
  2. The photograph should be high resolution. However, at this stage, please limit your images to a maximum file size of 1 MB (1,000KB) and a maximum of 900 pixels. Short listed entries will be required to send the larger file formats minimum size 3MB (3,000KB) and 2000 pixels. It should be saved in jpeg format. Images will be viewed on a large monitor. Note that entrants should retain their high-resolution files of their submissions. Winners will be asked to submit these files for printing and display.
  3. Send the brief and the photograph entry to: [email protected]. The email subject line should read ‘SOTU Photography Competition’.


  • Each category will be awarded a 1st prize winner and a runner-up prize.
  • There will be a special prize for nice effort from any of the categories
  • There will be an Overall winner selected from the 1st prize winners in each category
  • In total 10 prizes will be awarded.
  • All prize winners will receive a copy of the SOTU publication once printed
  • 1st prize any category $250; Runner-up prize $200
  • Special prize: $200
  • Overall winner prize: Cash prize: $500; Overall winning photo will be the cover of the SOTU publication and Winner will receive a fully-funded trip (economy class ticket, hotel accommodation and incidental costs) to a SOTU regional event.

Deadline to submit entries: Monday 7, March 2016

Email entries to [email protected]

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the SOTU Photography Competition 2016


  1. […] The State of the Union Coalition (SOTU) calls out for submissions of articles from journalists working in the 10 African countries SOTU has membership; Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Senegal, Kenya, Rwanda, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa and Tunisia. The competition is open to African journalists reporting on Human Rights and Governance issues in the print and digital media. […]


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