Wildlife Foundation launch photography award of former President Benjamin Mkapa

Sunday March 07 2021
mkapa pic
By Bertha Ismail

Arusha. The African Wildlife Foundation has just launched a special photography award in honour of former President Benjamin Mkapa in recognition of his legacy as a journalist, politician and conservationist.

African Wildlife Foundation’s media specialist Wambui Odhiambo stated in a press statement availed to The Citizen via AWF communications manager Jacqueline Kubania that the award, running under the theme of ‘Bringing Africa to the World and the World to Africa’ is meant to create a platform for Africans to embrace conservation through photography and to value the beauty of its nature.

Former First Lady Anna Mkapa was the guest of honour during the launch of ‘Benjamin Mkapa Photography Award’. It is meant to also serve as a precursor to the 60th Anniversary of African Wildlife Foundation since its establishment in 1961.

The AWF is teaming up with Nature’s Best Photography to run the competition in honour of the iconic African leader and recognizing Mkapa’s leadership in conservation, education, and his passionate support for AWF programmes.

Professional, Amateur and Youth (18 and younger) photographers are eligible to enter the competition opening on April 5, 2021 and running through June 2021. The results are scheduled to be revealed at an awards ceremony in November 2021. Entrants will have the opportunity to win cash, prizes, and awards totaling USD $33,000 equivalent to 80 million/-

“We value innovation and technological mechanisms that can scale up AWF’s work and impact, like digital technologies that can create new experiences by more directly connecting people to wildlands and wildlife,”the AWF Chief Executive Officer Kaddu Sebunya stated during the competition launch.


“We aim to break degrees of separation between people and nature and create ownership, transparency, demonstrated impact, and personalization. This is what the Benjamin Mkapa African Wildlife Photography Awards is all about,” Sebunya maintained.

In line with AWF’s mission to ensure wildlife and wildlands thrive in modern Africa and Nature’s Best’s to celebrate the natural world through the art of photography and visual storytelling, the competition’s goal is to engage, involve, and attract photographers at all levels of expertise, while encouraging young talent to become advocates for generational behavioural change towards wildlife conservation.

The Grand Prize Winner will be awarded USD $5,000 an interview and portfolio in Nature’s Best Photography magazine, and publication in a special edition of Nature’s Best devoted to the Mkapa Photography Awards. The category winners will each be awarded USD $1,000 and will be featured in Nature’s Best special edition. There will be two Youth overall Winners: one African-based and one Global Winner.

The competition will enhance the visibility of African wildlife through the following categories: African Wildlife Behavior, African Wildlife Portraits, Wildlife at Risk, Fragile Wilderness, African Conservation Heroes, Wildlife In Modern Africa: Coexistence And Conflict, Art in Nature, and through Africa in Motion/Video category, participants will be able to submit footage of natural wildlife behavior and outdoor experiences in wildlands.

In further elaboration of the new awards, Nature’s Best Photography President Stephen Freligh said, “Through my 30-plus years as a publisher of photographic works, I have personally witnessed the positive impact of combining the creative and documentary talents of professional, amateur, and youth photographers alike. Their memories are our new discoveries, and their stories are the window to the wild that allows our imagination to soar.”

The African Wildlife Foundation is the primary advocate for the protection of wildlife and wildlands as an essential part of a modern and prosperous Africa. Founded in 1961 to focus on Africa’s conservation needs, we articulate a uniquely African vision, bridge science, and public policy, and demonstrate the benefits of conservation to ensure the survival of the continent’s wildlife and wildlands.