World Bank Blog4Dev Essay Contest 2020 for Sub-Saharan African Countries

World Bank Blog4Dev Essay Contest 2020 for Sub-Saharan African Countries

Deadline: 30 November 2020

World Bank is seeking applications for its #Blog4Dev Competition which is an annual writing contest, inviting young people to weigh in on a topic critical to the country’s economic development.

The competition is a way to engage Africa’s youth and provide a platform to share their views—and solutions—about development topics that are important to them.

Topic of World Bank Blog4Dev Essay Contest 2020

What will it take to end child marriage in your country?

Why The Topic Was Chosen

The 2018 World Bank Group Human Capital Index revealed that countries in Sub-Saharan Africa score the lowest in skills, health, knowledge and resilience of all the world’s regions. This reflects challenges such as high mortality and stunting rates, as well as inadequate student learning outcomes.

Aiming to help Sub-Saharan countries to tackle these issues, the World Bank Africa Region launched its Human Capital Plan with ambitious targets, including a reduction in child mortality to save four million lives, averting stunting among 11 million children, and increasing learning outcomes for girls and boys in school by 20%.

Empowering women to prevent early marriage and pregnancy for adolescent girls is also an objective of the plan. According to Hafez Ghanem, World Bank Vice President for Africa, “the adolescent fertility rate in Sub-Saharan Africa is 102 births per 1,000 girls—three times as high as in South Asia. This not only damaging for girls and their children, but it also hurts economic growth.”

Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest prevalence of child marriage in the world. Nearly four out of 10 young women in this region were married before the age of 18. These young girls are having their childhoods cut short, but this goes far beyond a moral issue. This situation has a negative impact on development. They are also more likely to have children at a young age, which affects their health, and they are much more likely to drop out of school and complete fewer years of education than expected. This will curb their capacity to enter the job market with the adequate skills, and therefore reducing their potential for higher income.

Estimates for 12 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa say that child marriage is costing these countries $63 billion in lost earnings and human capital wealth.  Addressing the issue of child marriage is therefore a crucial development challenge for all countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.

So, we want to hear from you! Share your views by answering the following question: “What will it take to end child marriage in your country?”

Worth of the World Bank Blog4Dev Essay Contest 2020

Winning authors are eligible for several prizes, including being invited to attend a dedicated program during the World Bank – IMF Spring Meetings 2020 in Washington DC, opportunities to represent Africa’s youth at high-level events, a chance to intern at a World Bank Africa country office, or an opportunity to have applicants blog published on the World Bank Africa blog Youth Transforming Africa.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for the #Blog4Dev competition, applicants must:

  • Be a citizen of any of the 48 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Be between the ages of 18 and 28 years of age on November 30, 2019.
  • Currently reside in a Sub-Saharan African country

Selection Criteria

The winning submissions will be selected based on the following criteria:

  • Originality
  • Clarity in Writing and Presentation
  • Practicality and Relevance
  • Potential Impact on Development

How to Apply for the World Bank Blog4Dev Essay Contest 2020

  • To enter the competition, submit your original blog entry of no more than 500 words here by November 23, 2020.
  •  Submit your 500-word, original blog detailing your ideas about what it will take to enhance the skills needed to prepare Africa’s youth for the digital economy and the future of work, written in English, French or Portuguese.

Eligible Countries

Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo DR,  Congo-Brazzaville, Cote d Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Western Sahara, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Applicants can apply online via given website.

Questions or more information? Contact WBG by email: GH4Dev@worldbank.org

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