The Royal Commonwealth Society is delighted to announce that The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition 2019 was yesterday launched by our Vice-Patron HRH The Duchess of Cornwall during a visit to Ghana International School in Accra.

This followed an event that heard pupils read their gold award winning pieces from 2018 and the presentation of certificates by Rebecca Akufo-Addo, First Lady of Ghana and The Duchess of Cornwall.

HRH The Duchess of Cornwall announced the 2019 theme ‘A Connected Commonwealth’, which calls upon young people to consider how they can work to use cultural, technological and environmental connections for positive change across the Commonwealth.

Across Africa, nearly 2,000 entries were received in 2018 and we hope to increase this number in 2019.

The Competition is an opportunity for all young Commonwealth citizens and residents, regardless of region, education or background, to share ideas, celebrate their story and have their voice heard – all whilst developing key skills.

The launch is the first in recent memory to take place in an African country, and will raise awareness of the Competition for children across West Africa, particularly those from rural areas. It is one of several engagements in support of The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition during The Royal Tour, including a school visit in The Gambia and a literacy event today in Nigeria.

This unique and highly regarded competition aims to challenge young people’s thinking and the means by which they can express their views, using creative forms of writing such as essays, poems, stories or scripts. Since 2010, the Competition has received more than 87,000 entries including almost 12,000 in 2018 alone from 600 schools across almost every Commonwealth nation. Entries to the Competition are judged by 150 pan-Commonwealth volunteers, with winners selected by an expert panel including poets, publishers, scriptwriters and journalists.

The Competition has been managed by the Royal Commonwealth Society since 1883 and will be open to all citizens and residents of the Commonwealth aged 18 and under, until 1 June 2019. A Winner and Runner-Up from both the Senior and Junior categories will win a trip to London for a weeklong programme of educational and cultural events, typically including

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