Call for entries: Tana Forum Annual University Essay Competition
August 4, 2021

The Tana High-Level Forum on Security in Africa 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.

Now in its tenth year, 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 will be “Managing Security Threats: Building Resilience for the Africa we want”. Authors may respond to any one (1) of the following questions:

  1. Are continental and regional institutions on peace and security fit for purpose?
  2. What is needed to counter climate insecurity in Africa?
  3. Managing threats through governance versus building resilience through citizen participation: is there a convenient middle point

The authors of the three winning essays will be invited by the Tana Forum Secretariat to attend the Forum as fully sponsored participants and address participants at the Forum. Prior to the event, the authors 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

  1. Entries must be typed, double-spaced, in 12-point Times New Roman with a one-inch margin on all sides.
  2. Essays must be between 5-10 pages in length excluding reference materials.
  3. The essay must be the original work of the applicant supported by a comprehensive list of sources. Essays on topics other than the sub-themes listed above will not be accepted.
  4. Essays must be written in English or French.
  5. 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.
  6. Any essay using crowd-sourced and publicly editable sources such as Wikipedia will be disqualified.
  7. 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] Tana Forum 2021 Essay Competition. Attach a short bio that includes your name, university, degree title (BA, MA or PhD.), country of origin and contact information (email address, telephone number). All submissions should be addressed to Mr. Moussa SOUMAHORO at not later than August 31 2021.