The African EA Forum Competition ran from mid-May to mid-August with the goal bringing more African perspectives to the wider EA community, to encourage African EAs to share experiences, thoughts, and to engage with the online EA community.
I'm excited to announce the winners and runners up across our three categories.
The winners and runners up
- Winner - Zayn: Unveiling the Longtermism Framework in Islam: Urging Muslims to Embrace Future-Oriented Values through 'Islamic Longtermism'
- Runner up - Jacob Ayang and Aurelia Adhiambo: The Epidemic of Second-Hand Battery Cages Being Imported into Africa: What does this mean for the cage-free movement in Africa?
African perspectives on EA:
- Winner - George Gor: Why value-based salaries might help African effective altruists achieve more impact
- Runner up - Ashura Batungwanayo and Hayley Martin: Making EA more inclusive, representative, and impactful in Africa
Summaries of existing work / personal reflections:
- Winner - NatKiilu: Personal Reflections on Longtermism
- Runner up - Vee: GiveDirectly Unveils Challenges in Cash Transfer Program, Pledges Solutions to Support Impoverished Communities in the Democratic Republic of Congo: My Two Cents
Winners win a prize of USD $1,000, runners up win USD $500.
Impact of the competition
- We ended up with ~30 posts from Africans in 3 months. I believe this is roughly half of all posts that have been made by Africans in the history of the EA Forum
- As the list of winners testifies, we had a great mix of posts across topics - animal welfare, AI risk, EA culture, global development, longtermism etc.
- I think it's notable that it is not always the highest karma post that won within each category. We didn't want to anchor too much to reception by forum readers, and to reward posts that were outside the typical forum style (still requiring that a post be original, clear, discussion-provoking, and persuasive or relevant to the forum)
- We had around 15 writers join the virtual training on how to write for the EA Forum. Many of the people who ended up posting were in this training. From my perspective the impact was less teaching the nuts and bolts about writing a good post, and more about instilling the confidence that we really want their voices on the forum (if you're reading this, we want YOUR voice on the forum!)
- On the other hand, not very many writers took up the offer of mentorship. I think it was helpful to have the offer because a few writers were paired with mentors, and also the mere offer of being paired with a mentor helps instill confidence even if you don't accept the offer.
Thanks to our judges for taking their time to evaluate posts, to the admins of the forum for maintaining this wonderful platform, and Daniel Yu for funding the prizes.
And most of all thank you to all the writers. I hope the variety of posts highlighted by this competition and the great engagement from the online EA community will encourage more Africans - and people elsewhere in the world - to use this forum. Share your viewpoints. Challenge and be challenged. Contribute to this collective effort to make the world a better place for all.