Africa’s ecosystems are increasingly at risk from climate change. Some 20% of Africa’s land surface is estimated to be degraded because of soil erosion, salinization, pollution, and loss of vegetation or soil fertility. This is a result of factors including deforestation, unsustainable agriculture, overgrazing, uncontrolled mining activities, invasive alien species, and, increasingly, climate change.

Simultaneously, plastic waste continues to be a major challenge in the region. It not managed well, it contributes to environmental pollution impacting livelihoods and public health.

Urgent action is needed to tackle these challenges and the World Bank Group is ramping up its support to help countries shape a green, resilient, and inclusive recovery. The World Bank Group’s Climate Change Action Plan, which complements the Africa Climate Business Plan, commits that over the next five years, 35 percent of World Bank Group financing will directly contribute to climate action. Because without rapid deployment of inclusive, climate-informed development throughout the region, 43 million more people could be pushed below the poverty line by 2030.

The Challenge: Tell Us Your Story and Ideas

The World Bank’s Eastern and Southern Africa Region is launching a climate change video/photo competition, “Plant Trees, Not Plastics.” If you are between 18 and 35 years old and a resident of one of the eligible countries (see below), we invite you to tell us a story in a 1-minute video, OR in a photo or series of photos (three photos maximum) with text detailing innovative actions you or members of your community are taking toward addressing the impacts of plastic waste in your community.

Eligible countries: Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sao Tome & Principe, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe

Requirements for Video Submissions:

  • The video must be original and no more than 1 minute long.
  • Record in English or French in a quiet place (no music or background noise).
  • Make sure the video is not shaky, the camera must be still while filming.
  • Listen to your audio before you upload to ensure good audio quality.
  • Videos should not be digitally or otherwise altered beyond standard optimization.

Requirements for Photo Submissions:

  • Submit a maximum of three photos. Photos can also be presented as a montage.
  • Along with your submission, please include key messages detailing the actions in writing.
  • Photos that have been digitally or otherwise altered beyond standard optimization or copied from elsewhere will be disqualified.


The five entries with the most votes will be awarded $1,000 each. The winners will be contacted in February/March 2022 via the email provided with the submission.

Winners are responsible for all applicable taxes and fees associated with prize receipt and/or use. No transfer or substitution of a prize is permitted except by the World Bank.


A panel consisting of World Bank staff will judge the entries based on originality, creativity/innovation, and sustainability of solutions. The panel will select 10 entries that will be posted online in January/February 2022 for a global audience to vote on.   

Method of Application

Send your entry and follow the steps.

Please submit your video/photo captions in English or French.

Before you submit, please read the terms and conditions on this page.

Application Deadline: November 30, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. (EST)

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage