The 2022 UPPA Competitions Open for Submissions

The 2022 UPPA Competitions Open for Submissions

Photographers are invited to participate in our annual photography competitions in celebration of the talents within Uganda and East Africa. 

Now in its 5th edition we have the annual East African Photography Award (EAPA), open to all visual storytellers from the Eastern African region. 

The EAPA was previously a story only competition for photographers working on extended photo essays. That changes this year! We are happy to unveil our new competition format and to invite photographers to submit their best images to the following categories:

  • Human: Images that speak of people, humanity and mankind

  • Planet: Related to anything to do with our world

  • Imagine: For creative, innovative and experimental images

  • Photography’s appeal is diversifying, and these categories recognise that. While entries to ‘Human’ and ‘Planet’ might cover issues ordinarily within the scope of journalism, we have added the ‘Imagine’ category as an open invitation to artistic, commercial and fine art photographers to showcase their work. 

You can still submit a story, too- these categories should be treated as inspiration.

We look forward to seeing documentary and artistic work that reflects on the contemporary existence of people and the planet, and stories of life in East Africa.

The world around us is changing fast, and as creative workers it is our job to understand, keep up with and explain those changes. The impacts of cultural, socio-political, environmental and technological issues are growing larger as globalisation links us all together closer and the old collides with the new at every turn. 

We look forward to seeing stories that show the region, its people and cultures from varied, sincere and respectful viewpoints. This competition is open to single images and/or bodies of photographic work that have been worked on in the last year, from August 2021 up until the 2022 deadline. It is an opportunity to share varied perspectives and showcase our different shared and individual identities and experiences as East Africans.

Note: Projects that were commenced before August 1st 2021 are also eligible as long as they contain work created in the past year. 

The EAPA is open to citizens of Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda. Beginning this year, we are also pleased to welcome submissions from Sudan and South Sudan. 

We will award winners in both single and story categories. Awaiting the single image winner is a Canon EOS RP body with a kit lens, while the stories winner will take home a Canon EOS R6 body with a kit lens. The winners will also both receive Canon inkjet printers. All shortlisted photographers will be rewarded with a variety of prizes. All prizes are sponsored by Canon CNA and the EU Delegation to Uganda. 

Note: All submissions to the Single Images and Stories must be done online through the Visura platform. Guidelines and terms and conditions can be found there as well.

Jury for EAPA: Paul Botes - Photo Editor, Mail & Guardian (SA); Yasuyoshi Chiba - Photo Editor AFP (JP/KE); Sarah Gilbert - Photo Editor, The Guardian (UK); Liz Ikiriko - Curator and Photo Editor (NG/CA); Martin Kharumwa - Photographer (UG).

Next is the Uganda Press Photo Award (UPPA). Last year we celebrated the tenth anniversary of the UPPA, continuing the tradition of recognising and awarding some of the best photography and photojournalism within the country. We believe that this year’s eleventh edition marks a good moment to introduce a new format for the award, opening the competition to a wider pool of talent and engaging with photographers and their audiences in a new and exciting way. 

This year we’re inviting Ugandan photographers to submit bodies of photographic work responding to the theme ‘NEW REALITIES’. It is said that change is the only constant, but in recent years the changes seem to be happening faster, and affecting more people. Digital culture is displacing traditional cultures, the pandemic upended lives and livelihoods, and climate change and the rising cost of living seem to change our very realities every day.

Through this theme, which will be awarded first, second and third prizes, we hope to encourage photographers to reflect on these and other current events more deeply and to unleash their creativity. Images submitted may be in any style and on any topic, so long as they relate clearly to the theme and have been made in the last year (between August 2021 and the deadline). 

Awaiting the winner is a Canon EOS RP body and kit lens, and a Canon inkjet printer. All shortlisted photographers will be awarded with a variety of prizes, sponsored by Canon CNA and the EU Delegation to Uganda.

Jury: Edward Echwalu - Photojournalist (UG), Martha Kazungu - Curator (UG), Cynthia MaiWa Sitei - Creative Producer (KE/UK), Niamh Tracey - FORMAT Coordinator (UK) and Sarah Waiswa - Documentary Photographer (KE/UG).

Note: All submissions must be done online through the Visura Platform. Guidelines and terms and conditions can be found there as well.

The deadline for EAPA and UPPA is August 8th, 2022.

The 2022 UPPA Competitions Open for Submissions

Finally we have the annual Young Photographer Award now in its seventh edition. This award is open to emerging, passionate, Ugandan photographers between the ages of 21 and 28 years looking to cultivate a career in professional photography.

Awaiting the winner is a Canon M50 MK II body with kit lens and a Canon inkjet printer. The shortlisted photographers will also have the opportunity to participate in our intensive Emerging Photographer Mentorship Programme. During the programme, photographers will have the opportunity to deepen their knowledge on photography as well as to develop a long term photography project that, if successful, will be exhibited during the UPPA 2023 exhibition. 

How to apply:

Photographers are asked to submit the following:

  • - a motivation letter introducing yourself as well as explaining why you should be considered for the award and the mentorship programme;

  • - a photographic project idea of a long term project that you would like to realise and take on during the mentorship programme. This has to be a realistic and attainable idea as you may have to follow through during the mentorship programme;

  • - a portfolio of 20 jpeg images taken by you, so that we can see your photographic skill in practice.

  • Remember - images submitted will speak for you and your talent, so be sure to show us a variety of your best work. The images do not have to be part of a singular story.

  • Jury: Anne Nwakalor - Photo Editor No Wahala (NG/UK), Giovanni Okot - Photographer(UG), Chris Dennis Rosenberg - Photographer (UG), Katie Simmonds - Photographer (UK/AE), Miriam Watsemba - Documentary Photographer (UG)

  • Note: All submissions must be done online through the Visura platform.
    The deadline for all submissions is July 25th, 2022.
    Winners in all competitions and categories will receive prizes and will be announced in October 2022.


The Uganda Press Photo Award(UPPA) is a platform for photographers and people interested in photography in Uganda and East Africa.
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