Speak Africa, You Listen


ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA–I trekked over to UNICEF’s Ethiopia headquarters to meet an extraordinary group of young and emerging African media voices. The group, sponsored by UNICEF, is called Speak Africa and trains talented young photographers, artists, bloggers, journalists and videographers on how to use media for advocacy and social change. As luck would have it, many members of the group were in town for a meeting at the UN Economic Commission for Africa, which focused on women’s empowerment, gender equality and ending violence against women.

Their work is very impressive. Robel is a 20 year-old cartoonist enrolled in a fine arts program at the University of Addis Ababa. The cartoon, he says, is a comment on the sad state of maternal health care in his native country.

The photo below was snapped by a 20 year-old Ethiopian blogger/photographer named Maedot. A few weeks ago she was driving in a rural part of the country and came across children playing on an old tank leftover from the civil war here in the 1970s. The photo is called “Why Kids Play on Tanks.”

Check out Speak Africa for more compelling content generated by African youth.