NEW CREDO democracy essay prize for South African Students

CREDO Essay Prize
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To advance the study of democracy by African students, the Centre for Research on Democracy (CREDO) at Stellenbosch University is pleased to announce the second edition of our annual essay writing initiative – the African Democracy Essay Award 2023. We are also very proud to welcome the South African office of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) as our partners in this initiative.

Undergraduate university students from across South Africa are invited to submit an essay which addresses a key issue relevant to the experience of democracy on the African continent. Participants are supported throughout their writing journey by some of CREDO’s own team members, who are eager to ensure that every participant has the tools necessary to prepare a submission-ready essay.

Final submissions are followed by a rigorous assessment by CREDO’s panel of judges – chaired by the Centre’s Director, Professor Ursula van Beek of Stellenbosch University – after which three winning essays are chosen. Each of the three winners receives an honorarium (R5,000, R3,000 or R2,000 respectively) for the publication of their essay on a partnering platform, as well as an invaluable addition to their CV.

By participating in this national initiative, students will thus not only involve yourself in the debates and ideas at the heart of contemporary democracy but will also have the opportunity to improve their research and writing skills and, in the process, produce high-quality work that can be showcased to potential employers and graduate schools.

The African Democracy Essay Award 2023 is open to undergraduate students from any South African university, including foreign nationals. Participation is the ideal opportunity for students considering further studies, or a career in academia, policymaking, governance, development, or law.

For more information, interested students are encouraged to visit the initiative’s website and read the official writing brief. All participants must also sign up using this form. Final submissions close on the 15th of September 2023. Any queries can be directed to Damien du Preez at

Damien du Preez (@damienjdp) is the Marketing and Communications Officer for the Centre for Research on Democracy (CREDO) at Stellenbosch University.

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