African photography awards to champion conservation initiatives

The African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) and Nature’s Best Photography (NBP) have officially announced the new Benjamin Mkapa African Wildlife Photography Awards.

Named to honor the late, iconic African leader and former Tanzanian President, H.E. Benjamin Mkapa, this competition recognizes his leadership in conservation, education, and his passionate support for AWF programs.

Bringing Africa to the World and the World to Africa” defines the global competition geared towards creating a platform for Africans to embrace conservation through photography and to value the beauty of its nature.

To help celebrate World Wildlife Day, the Foundation and Nature’s Best found it fitting to launch the awards as a pre-cursor to the 60th Anniversary of AWF, since its establishment in 1961.

 “We value innovation and technological mechanisms. 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. Breaking degrees of separation between people and nature and creating ownership, transparency, demonstrated impact, and personalization. This is what the Benjamin Mkapa African Wildlife Photography Awards is all about.”  

AWF CEO, Kaddu Sebunya

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 behavioral change towards wildlife conservation.

Professional, Amateur, and Youth (18 and younger) photographers are invited to enter the competition opening on April 5th and running through June. 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 $33,000 USD (KES, 3.6M).

The Grand Prize Winner will be awarded $5,000 USD (KES 547,000), 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 $1,000 USD (KES 109,000) 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 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 the Africa in Motion/Video category, participants will be able to submit footage of natural wildlife behavior and outdoor experiences in wild lands. 

 “Through my 30+ 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.”

Nature’s Best Photography President, Stephen Freligh.

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