Call for submissions: Tana Forum Annual University Essay Competition

The Tana Forum is an annual meeting that brings together African leaders and stakeholders to engage and explore African-led security solutions. The Forum strives to provide a platform for young Africans to engage with African heads of state and governments, practitioners and experts in peace and security in Africa.

Youth inclusion is an essential, yet often lacking, component of decision-making in Africa and the Forum offers several opportunities for youth participation before, during and after the Forum including youth debates, multi-stakeholder dialogues, civil society and media involvement, and different competitions.

The Tana Forum Annual Essay Competition is aimed at obtaining views from the youth on various peace and security challenges faced across the continent. The competition is open to African nationals enrolled in higher education institutions based in Africa and in the diaspora. This year’s theme is: “The AfCFTA: A Milestone for Pan-Africanism and Conflict Transformation.”

The authors of the three winning essays will be invited (all costs covered) to attend and address participants at the Tana Forum. Prior to the event, the authors will receive mentorship from a pool of experts based at the Institute for Peace and Security Studies (IPSS).


Applicants must be African citizens enrolled at recognized universities in Africa or in the diaspora pursuing either a BA, MA or PhD in a relevant field.

Submission Guidelines
  • Essays must be typed, double-spaced, in 12-point Times New Roman with a one-inch margin on all sides.
  • Essays must be between 5-10 pages in length excluding reference materials.
  • The essay must be the original work of the applicant supported by a comprehensive list of sources. Essays on topics other than the current theme of the Tana Forum will not be accepted.
  • Essays must be written in English or French.
  • A reference list in APA style must be included with a minimum of three primary sources, i.e. books, periodicals or newspapers. Other sources may be accessed online, provided they are cited correctly. Any submissions lacking three primary sources will be disqualified.
  • Any essay using crowd-sourced and publicly editable sources such as Wikipedia will be disqualified.
  • Essays must be submitted in Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx) format. Essays submitted in any other format will not be considered.
Submission Instructions
  • Email your essay with the subject line: [Full name] 2020 Essay Competition.
  • Attach a short bio (250 words) that includes your name, university, degree title (BA, MA or PhD.), professional background, country of origin and contact information (email address, telephone number).
  • Attach a copy of your passport.
  • All submissions should be addressed to tanaforum2020@ipss-addis.organd submitted before 31 January 2020.