East Africa: EAC Spearheads Youth Integration Agenda

THE East African Community (EAC) is fast moving towards integration agenda, coming up with a competition with a $25,000 prize tag.

EAC Secretary-General, Ambassador Liberat Mfumukeko announced this in Arusha during the opening of the portal for submission of the inaugural Short Film Competition.

It was launched as part of the new drive to accelerate citizen's engagement this year, with the competition being the latest effort to inspire and capture views and desires of the young citizens from Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan.

Announcing opening of the web portal for submitting the short films, Ambassador Mfumukeko said the contest, the first of its kind in EAC, is part of a year-long effort to reach out to over 10 million citizens using new innovative tools as part of a new campaign dubbed 'The EAC I Deserve', a Citizens' Engagement Campaign.

"The EAC Short Film Competition will involve young people from all our six partner states. A total prize of $ 25,000 awaits the innovative 33 youthful winners.

Short films in French with English subtitles will be accepted, and the submission deadline has been extended to 30th April 2020 to allow for more young people to collaborate using online tools.

The short films will be judged based on creativity, originality, popularity, entertainment value and advancement of the integration agenda.

"The EAC Short Film Competition creates a new opportunity for us to hear stories directly from the citizens on what they think we have so far achieved, the impact we have made to their world and the future EAC they want to live in," said the SG.

He further noted that most of the EAC youth today being Information and Communication Technology (ICT) savvy was the key inspiration behind the EAC Secretariat initiating the competition, coupled with the regions' increased usage of social media communication.

He said that the communication now commands close to 30 million active social media users monthly, with an average growth of 15 percent yearly, becoming the main source of accessing news for East African citizens.

"Interested youth should upload their submissions on their personal or friends Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram or TikTok accounts, include the campaign hashtag #TheEACiDeserve in their postings on digital channels and later upload the films through www.theeacideserve. com.

Entrants aged between 18 to 35 years and East Africans are eligible to enter the contest where they are at liberty to use any genre to produce the video or animation, and the length should be between 30 to 59 seconds," said Mr Mfumukeko.

The diplomat added that the extension of time is as a result of disruptions caused by restrictions of movement of people in the region due to safety measures implemented by Partner States as a result of the spread of coronavirus in some parts of East Africa.

The year-long campaign supported by the German Government through German Development Cooperation (GIZ), has several activities aimed at igniting a reflection of achievements and challenges over the past 20 years to create a new momentum that inspires citizens belief on the EAC integration effort.

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