The fact that this day is a UN day is thanks to the efforts of African activists across the continent, coalesced in the African Platform for Access to Information (APAI). Zoé Titus, Chairperson of the APAI Working Group, says: “African civil society organisations and governments should be justifiably proud of the role they played in securing an international day on the right to information, firstly with the UNESCO approval in 2015 and ultimately the UN-level recognition that they birthed in 2019”, adding “It is a testament to how collective effort endorsed global consensus on how the right to access to information improves people’s lives.”
Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), with offices in over 100 countries, is a German political foundation committed to strengthening social democratic principles. FES – a long term partner with APAI – through its regional media project fesmedia Africa, launched a video clip competition asking youth across the continent to share what they feel about access to information with a view to UNESCO’s theme for this year’s celebration – Saving Lives, Building Trust and Bringing Hope. The idea was to encourage youth especially to reflect on the importance of access to information (ATI) in their lives.
Although the competition only ran from the 14th through the 20th of September, 3 Portuguese language, 2 French, 1 Sesotho and 43 English video clips were received and the level of creativity was outstanding.
Entries were received from Botswana, Cameroon, Ghana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia,
Nigeria, South Africa, Swaziland, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
A panel of judges carefully watched the videos and evaluated them in terms of creativity, technical prowess and content. First place was awarded to Austin Ekwujuru from Nigeria. Second place was awarded to Jonathan Sulemane from Mozambique with third place going to Nobuhle Nyamanza from Zimbabwe.
There were so many unique videos that the judges decided that the following special prizes also had to be awarded:
Most Artistic Entry, Most Authentic Entry, Most Educational Entry, Most Engaging, Best Namibian Entry, and last but not least, The One to Look Out For.
Please check out the videos on fesmedia Africa’s Facebook page.