By Abdi Ali
Published October 2, 2016
Images of a fisherman in a canoe on East Africa’s Lake Victoria on his laptop, a solar farm in Central Africa’s Rwanda powering 15000 homes, and the skyline of the Zimbabwean capital, Harare, have each earned their respective creators US$2000 a pan-Africa photography competition focusing on Africa’s rapid modernization process in three categories: Technology, Cities and Industry.
Organised by a logistics provider known as Agility, the Africa 2016 Photo Competition is reported to have attracted more than 2500 photographs from professional and amateur photographers in 30 countries.
The winners are Stephen Simiyu, a photographer from Nairobi, Kenya (Technology); Henry Oliver Hakulandaba, an environmental consultant and photographer from Harare (Cities); and Esdore Hakizimana, a machine operator from Kigali, Rwanda (Industry). Simiyu also won the Grand Prize of US$2000 for his photograph of a fisherman using a laptop in a canoe on Lake Victoria, Uganda.
The winning photographs and the runners-ups, which were featured at a session at the United Nations General Assembly in New York in September 2016, will also be shown at the Thomson Reuters Africa Summit 2016 in Cape Town (South Africa) in October besides being showcased in Forbes Africa, on CNBC Africa, and in Agility’s corporate magazine, Tradelanes.
Agility reports Simiyu, the Grand Prize winner, as having said, “I know Africa is developing, and to show this, I needed an image that could tell that story in one picture. The competition really made me think about Africa; there’s nowhere like it.”
Hakulandaba, winner in the Cities category, said non-Africans are continually surprised by the pace of change in Africa. The photographer received the news of his win while cleaning his house. “I had just bought the best carpet shampooer and was opening the pack when I got a call from the organizers of the event”, said a jubilant Hakulandaba.
“Whenever I exhibit images of Harare or any other African city, there is always someone who says they never thought Africa has such development,” Hakulandaba said. “This competition is a platform to reach a wider audience about African development. It will help change perspectives of the continent’s potential.”
“The winning images speak eloquently about the historic change underway in Africa and the opportunities for Africans, African businesses and the world,” said Geoffrey White, CEO of Agility Africa. “As a company investing in the logistics infrastructure of the continent, we are proud to show the world powerful images that capture a more positive view of Africa and demonstrate the progress that has already been made, hopefully changing the perceptions of Africa in 2016.”
The competition was judged by an independent panel that consisted of Sneha Shah, Managing Director, Thomson Reuters Africa; Bronwyn Nielsen, Editor-in-Chief, CNBC Africa; and Salim Amin, Chairman of CameraPix and co-founder of Africa24 Media.