The European Union and Somali Academy of Science, Culture and Arts launch new poetry competition on peace and prosperity

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23 March 2023 – The European Union in Somalia in partnership with the Somali Academy of Science, Culture and Arts are today launching a new poetry competition on the theme ‘My vision for peace and prosperity’.

The third edition of the ‘Silsiladda Nabadda’ (traditional poetry about peace) poetry competition is supported by the European Union aims at identifying and amplifying Somali voices about hopes for peace and prosperity in Somalia.

The competition recognizes the key importance of poetry at the heart of Somali culture.  Somalia has been known as a nation of poets with an oral tradition of poetry and storytelling which has been passed down through generations.

For the 2023 Silsiladda Nabadda poetry competition, entrants should record a short video of themselves reading or reciting an original poem that they have written. The recording of the poetry reading should last less than 2 minutes and be submitted via Whatsapp number +252626392248 or email ([email protected]). The competition closes at 23.59 on Saturday 11 April.

After the closing date closed, a selected expert jury will watch all the eligible videos and choose the best eight entries.

The eight poems will be posted on the European Union’s Facebook page and the public will be invited to vote for their favourite by liking the poem. Votes should come from genuine Facebook accounts and only one vote per account is allowed. See below Annex for a complete outline of the rules.

The winner will be the person receiving the most likes followed by two runners-up.  The winners will be invited to the celebrations of Europe Day which will be held in Mogadishu on 9 May 2023.

The first prize will be USD 1000, second prize is USD 500 and third prize USD 250.

Annex: Poetry competition submission and selection criteria

The Silsiladda Nabadda Poetry Competition is open to all Somali nationals aged over 16 currently living in Somalia.

Contestants should read or perform their own original poem on the theme “My Vision for Peace and Prosperity” and submit a video which should not be more than 2 minutes long.

The participant should state their name, age and email address on the video clearly before starting to recite/read the poem. The recording of the poem, excluding the personal details, should be no more than 2 minutes long.

Participants must submit their applications by 23:59 on 11 April 2023. Applications submitted after the deadline will not be considered. 

The video of the author reading the poem should be sent by email ([email protected], and [email protected] in cc)  or Whatsapp number  +252626392248 with a written version of the poem attached. 

The videos will be submitted to independent selected judges, who will choose an initial 8 finalists from the pool of applicants.

Poems will be evaluated according to: 

  • Language quality, comprehensibility, and originality 
  • Relevance to the theme
  • Observance of rules and structure of the poem, in terms of balance and        adherence to the traditional rules of rhyme and rhythm in Somali poetry.

The 8 finalist videos will then be posted on Facebook and the public will be invited to vote on their favourite. Only one vote is allowed per person. The winner will be the poem that receives most votes.

The poems must be original work of the contestant who by entering gives permission for the video to be broadcast on media and social media platforms. Only one entry per individual. 

The poem should not be derogatory, immoral, offensive or contain profanity or inappropriate words. 

The EU reserves the right to take measures accordingly to ensure a fair voting process and can stop the award process, or to change the conditions, if it is deemed necessary in the EU’s view or due to circumstances beyond its control. 

The press release and the Poetry competition submission and selection criteria in Somali


For information contact

Rage Hassan, Communication consultant for the European Union

Email: [email protected]

Contact: +252 61 0273363

European Union website:

Twitter @EU_in_Somalia

For further information on entering the competition contact

Abdiaziz Ibrahim Ali, Director of Communications and Public Relations, Somali Academy for Science, Culture and Arts

Email: [email protected][email protected]

Contact: +252626392248