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Blog4Dev 2021 Competition: Put your blogging skills to the test!

October 17-December 06, 2020



Earlier this year, the entire world came to a standstill as the COVID-19 (coronavirus) quickly spread across the globe. In an attempt to combat the pandemic, the world went into lockdown; schools closed, production chains ground to a halt, social life was disrupted, and people retreated into their homes. Everything changed.

Today, the scope of the pandemic and its devastating effects on people and economies is staggering. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), as of October 8, there have been 36 million confirmed cases globally, 1.2 million of which were in Africa.

World Bank Group President David Malpass recently recognized the unique nature of the COVID-19 crisis during his virtual Annual Meetings opening remarks.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is a crisis like no other. Its toll has been massive and people in the poorest countries are likely to suffer the most and the longest,” he said. “The pandemic has taken lives and disrupted livelihoods in every corner of the globe. It has knocked more economies into simultaneous recession than at any time since 1870. And it could lead to the first wave of a lost decade burdened by weak growth, a collapse in many health and education systems, and excessive debt.”

Although figures show that African countries appear to have been relatively spared compared to other regions in the world, the socioeconomic impact of the virus is nonetheless severe. In its analysis of the region’s economic outlook, the World Bank's latest Africa’s Pulse report projects that growth in Sub-Saharan Africa will contract by -3.3% in 2020, driving the continent into its first economic recession in 25 years. The pandemic could also push 40 million Africans into extreme poverty, erasing at least five years of progress in poverty reduction efforts.

Additionally, WHO warns that “COVID-19 will not be the world’s last health emergency and there is an urgent need for sustainable health emergency preparedness to deal with the next one.” It is therefore critical for African countries to not only effectively address the current health crisis, but to get ready for the next one as well. Many countries have already put measures in place to save lives, protect livelihoods, and build a stronger future.

In an effort to find a common solution to a common challenge, we would also like to hear the views of African youth on the COVID-19 response. Based on the situation in your country, answer the following question: 

How can young people work with their governments and civil society organizations to respond to the impact of COVID-19 and build a stronger post-pandemic economic and social system?

  • Launched in 2014 by the World Bank Kenya office, the #Blog4Dev competition is an annual writing contest, inviting young people to weigh in on a topic critical to their country’s economic development. The competition is a way to engage Africa’s youth and provide a platform for them to share their views—and solutions—about development topics that are important to them. In 2018, it became a regional competition, open to young citizens from all 48 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.

    Blog4Dev winners contribute to the blogging community through original content posted on the Youth Transforming Africa blog platform.

    Youth Transforming Africa (YTA) is a World Bank-supported youth engagement initiative that aims to engage more African youth in the thinking and discussions on development in Africa.

  • ELIGIBILITY To be eligible for the #Blog4Dev competition, you must:

    • Be a citizen of one of the 48 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa;
    • Be between the ages of 18 and 28 on November 30, 2020;
    • Not have been a winner of previous editions.


    Using the links below, submit your original blog entry, written in English, French, or Portuguese, detailing your ideas about addressing the impact of COVID-19 and building a stronger post-pandemic economic and social system by December 6, 2020.

    Submissions through email or post will not be accepted.

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

    • originality;
    • clarity in writing and presentation;
    • practicality and relevance;
    • potential impact on development.
  • Winning authors are eligible for several prizes, including an invitation to attend a dedicated program during the World Bank-IMF Spring Meetings 2021 (if the health situation improves), opportunities to represent Africa’s youth at high-level events, a chance to intern at a World Bank country office, or an opportunity to have their blog published on the World Bank blog Youth Transforming Africa.

  • The World Bank Group reserves the right to research and verify the eligibility of any entrant.

    Submissions must be original. The World Bank Group reserves the right to test every entry with an anti-plagiarism software.

    The submission deadline is December 6, 2020. Late submissions will be disqualified automatically.

    The blog post length should not exceed the following limits: 500 words in English and 650 words in French and Portuguese. Longer entries will be disqualified.

    Only one submission per entrant is allowed.

    By entering the contest, participants agree to release the World Bank Group from any claims based on the contest, and grant the World Bank Group all rights to their entry, including consent to publish their entered blog post on the World Bank Group’s website and social media channels.

    Failure to comply with these rules may result in disqualification from the contest. Bloggers agree to comply with, and be bound by, the decisions of the World Bank Group, which are final and binding on all matters pertaining to this competition. Failure to comply with these rules may result in disqualification from the contest.


  • ELIGIBILITY: Must be a citizen of, and currently living in, a Sub-Saharan African country and be between 18 and 28 years of age on November 30, 2020.
  • TOPIC: How can young people work with their governments and civil society organizations to respond to the impact of COVID-19 and build a stronger post-pandemic economic and social system?
  • CONTACT: Blog4Dev 
Submit your blog