Announcing 1st Money-Prized Essay Contest & Application to our 2010 Educational Festival

Announcing 1st Money-Prized Essay Contest & Application to our 2010 Educational Festival

The 2010 Students & Young Professionals African Liberty Academy (SYPALA)

August 1-6, 2010 – Dodoma University, Tanzania

After four years of successfully hosting SYPALA, one of the most educative programmes on the continent in West Africa, it is time to take our week-long education fiesta to the East.
This year’s seminar would be held in Tanzania in order to enable our many East African applicants who for want of travel funds have not been able to enjoy the life-enriching encounters to do just that.

While we do not anticipate a substantial shift in our mode of introduction, our subject-matters ranging from political economy to business strategy, and from leadership to economic governance will largely reflect the thinking of one of the most prolific intellectual heavy weights of the 19th century- the French Philosopher, Journalist and Economist, Frédéric Bastiat, not least because this year marks his 209th birthday.

Writing in the early 19th century, Frederic Bastiat capably weighed in, with wit and insight, into the popular discussions of individual freedom versus power.  We have seen how much carnage the politics of big men has caused in Africa.  Bastiat  warned of the penchant for  governments  legislating powers to enable them to drive their utopian ideas of equalizing welfare for everyone, when, in fact, the only way to achieve that was by un-equalizing power by giving rulers the power to take what everyone had productively applied their minds and physical labour to.  There are a lot of these often misdirected do-good attitudes by many African governments with dire consequences for “prosperity, morality, equality, right, justice, progress, responsibility, cooperation, property, labor, trade, capital, wages, taxes, population, finance, or government”.  

But, Bastiat believed then, and many will attest to the fact that many of society’s problems though largely caused by intrusive governments have one solution- liberty.  “At whatever point on the scientific horizon I begin my researches, I invariably reach this one conclusion: the solution to the problems of human relationships is to be found in liberty”, Bastiat wrote.

Essay Contest, Application Criteria & Prizes

As the sole criterion to being admitted into this year’s SYPALA in Tanzania, we would like to test the knowledge of our applicants on how effectively they can apply the thinking of Bastiat to the happenings around them.

The Essay Topic:
Bastiat shows that, every time we make a choice, we give something up. This is what economists call opportunity cost. In 1500 words, identify three actions of your government you consider curious or rather suspicious and describe some of the hidden costs behind the actions.  

Helpful tip:  Please read Bastiat’s essay, What Is Seen and What Is not Seen.  This essay can be found here

– The essay is open to all Africans between the ages of 18-35 even if you are not applying to be   part of our 2010 seminar in Tanzania. Indicate though if you wish to attend the seminar.
– The essay must be original.
-Essay should have your name, affiliation, (education or work) and submitted via email to
– The deadline for submission of the essays will be June 1st, 2010.
– The results will be announced on June 30, 2010, Bastiat’s 209th Birthday

We will award prizes for the best essays as well.   
First prize: US$800
Second prize: $ 600
Third prize: $400
5 Honorable mentions: $150 for each mention

Proceed to Apply Now!

Take note of our June 1st deadline.  If you have further questions, please email Mavis at or call her on     +233 244 973 951   during office hours, please.  
Respectfully yours,

Mavis Mawudeku
Administrative Assistant IMANI