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Deadline for Rome-Based Best African Storytellers Contest “Communicating Africa”, Extended

Poster announcing the 9th Harambee Africa International Award that will focus on stories of resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic. Credit: Harambee Africa International

Young African storytellers who missed the deadline for the ninth Harambee International Award have been given an opportunity to make their submissions for the coveted prize.

Dubbed “Communicating Africa”, the competition that was first announced on April 7 with the initial deadline of 30 September 2021 has been pushed to 30 August 2022.

The Rome-based Catholic entity announced the changes on October 21, noting that the COVID-19 situation had posed “difficulties” in the submission process.

“In view of the difficulties linked to COVID-19 and in order to accommodate numerous requests, the Competition’s organizing committee has decided to postpone the deadline for submitting entries to 30 August 2022,” writes Harambee Africa International (HAI) Communications officer, Rossella Miranda.

“The Competition, now in its ninth year, aims to contribute to a more real image of Africa, reflecting the difficulties but also the hopes, the richness and diversity of its peoples and cultures, the constant commitment to development and its needs, which are still so pressing,” Ms. Miranda says, and adds, “To promote knowledge of a continent that is a treasure for all.”

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Stories that will be told in the form of videos are those of coexistence, dialogue, resilience and integration, the organization reports.

In a past interview with ACI Africa, Ms. Miranda made a specific call on storytellers on the African continent to come forward to tell their own stories in the global contest.

“The Competition is open to all works, European or African,” Ms. Miranda told ACI Africa in the April interview, and added, “It would be great to give a Prize to an African entry and let an African voice speak about Africa!”

The HAI communications official says the aim of the competition is to help create a more accurate image of Africa, “one that reflects the existing conflicts but also shows the reasons for hope.”

She said that the bottom-line of the competition is to promote awareness of “a continent that is a treasure for the whole world.”

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The competition has been organized under two categories including the video reportage and video documentaries and the video-clips by young people up to 25 years of age who will focus on the ethnic, social, economic, cultural and religious themes specific to Africa.

Particular attention will be paid to works dealing with resilience in times of crisis, stories of courage in times of pandemic.

Reportage will also bring to the fore the value of education (and training) as indispensable means to achieve the full promotion of the person and the peaceful development of African society.

Other areas will be respect for the dignity of the human person, the value of solidarity and mutual aid and the role of the family.

Those participating are expected to also address the positive experiences of integration in European societies.

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The award is open to video documentaries of a maximum duration of 60 minutes and video clips of a maximum duration of 5 minutes.

Works may be produced in English, French, Italian, Spanish or Portuguese, the leadership of the organization says, and explains, “In the case of a different language, subtitles must be inserted in one of these five languages.”

Harambee international says that the amount of the award, which is subject to the tax obligations in force is EURO 2,500 for video reportages and video documentaries and EURO 1,000 for video-clips.

Registration is done by filling in the form online at www.harambee-africa.org, the organization reports, adding that each participant will have to upload their video on Youtube.com, indicating in the online entry form the link to view the video.

“The same form will ask for personal information and to attach a certificate attesting to the authenticity and ownership of the product; authorization from the owner of the commercial rights to the work submitted, allowing it to be shown during the award ceremony and published on Harambee’s website and social networks,” the Rome-based organization reports, and adds, “The holder of the rights will be cited appropriately.”

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“By registering for the Award, you authorize the organizers to use the works received exclusively for cultural and non-profit purposes,” officials of HAI say.

The organization discloses that the jury, which will be composed of members of different nationalities, may decide not to award the prize, adding, “Its decisions shall be final.”

HAI has further announced that the award ceremony will be held in November 2022 at the 20th anniversary celebration event of the organization, and explains that the date and location will be announced well in advance on the website: www.harambee-africa.org.