CGAP Photo and Video Contest

CGAP Photo and Video Contest

Deadline: December 21, 2018
Entry fee: Free
Prizes: $1,000, $2,000 gift certificates

Picturing financial inclusion in Africa.

Africa is a center for financial innovation, home to M-Pesa, the mobile money service launched a decade ago that has revolutionized digital financial services and helped lift many thousands of households from poverty. Africa also is the continent with the largest number of people living in extreme poverty, and many lack the financial tools that could help improve their lives.

CGAP is looking for striking photographs and short videos that tell the story of how financial services empower poor people and communities in Africa. Show us how financial services expand opportunities for poor people in Africa and enable people to build sustainable livelihoods.

An expert panel of judges will award prizes for vivid, memorable work that shows why financial inclusion matters.


  • Reaching Excluded People
    Mobile phones open up markets and access to services for people who are isolated or live in remote communities. Show us how digital finance creates new opportunities for excluded Africans.
  • Brighter Prospects For Young People
    There are 600 million young people in Africa under the age of 25, and 72 percent of them are unemployed. Show how financial services can spur entrepreneurship among Africa’s youth.
  • Digital Finance And Development
    Savings, credit and insurance provide poor people with a wider range of tools to help manage their economic lives. Show how poor people are building more resilient lives.

Website of Photo Contest:

CGAP Photo and Video Contest 2017 Winners

Honey Collectors, © Muhammad Mostafigur Rahman, Bangladesh, Grand Prize, CGAP Photo and Video Contest
Honey Collectors
© Muhammad Mostafigur Rahman, Bangladesh
Grand Prize

Traditional honey collectors break into a wild beehive in the forests of Sundarbans, a place of vast natural resources in the coastal region of western Bangladesh.

It is a wildlife sanctuary, home to giant bees as well as tigers, crocodiles and venomous snakes. The honey collectors, known as ‘mouaals’, risk their lives to harvest thousands of pounds of honey every year, there are so few other options to earn money. They use torches of smoking twigs and leaves to scatter the bees.

In this UNESCO World Heritage Site, people build their homesteads adjacent to the forest and live mainly off its resources to sustain their lives.


Ray Of Hope, © Sujan Sarkar, India, Theme Winner: Innovations In Digital Finance, CGAP Photo and Video Contest
Ray Of Hope
© Sujan Sarkar, India
Theme Winner: Innovations In Digital Finance

Lepchakha is a remote village of West Bengal, India, where electricity has reached only recently. But the service is very poor, and most families depend on solar energy to light their homes.

Manisha explains that solar technology helps her stretch the family budget: “Pure energy from the sun reduces our collective dependence on fossil fuel and saves money.”


Fish Finder, © Afriadi Hikmal, Indonesia, Theme Winner: Connecting People And Services, CGAP Photo and Video Contest
Fish Finder
© Afriadi Hikmal, Indonesia
Theme Winner: Connecting People And Services

Fishermen use an app on their mobile telephones to locate fish in the Riau Islands of Indonesia. For these men, the fish finder app saves them time and money, making their fishing trips more profitable. Apps are creating new opportunities for poor people to improve their productivity.


Give Us Sunshine, © Sourav Karmakar, India, Theme Winner: Opportunities For People In Crisis, CGAP Photo and Video Contest
Give Us Sunshine
© Sourav Karmakar, India
Theme Winner: Opportunities For People In Crisis

Sheroes Hangout is a café and boutique run by women who have survived acid attacks. Working in the café fosters confidence in the women and provides them with a means to earn a living. Rather than remain victims, these women decided to open a business located near the Taj Mahal in Agra, India, with the help of the Chaanv Foundation. The café’s “pay as you wish” contributions go directly to survivors of acid attacks in India.


Bicycle Distributions, © Kevin Di Salvo, Uganda, Theme Winner: Building Sustainable Livelihoods, CGAP Photo and Video Contest
Bicycle Distributions
© Kevin Di Salvo, Uganda
Theme Winner: Building Sustainable Livelihoods

Building sustainable livelihoods can oftentimes begin with simple solutions. A village savings group listens as Tonny explains bicycle maintenance to villagers in Gulu, Uganda.

Tonny works for Bicycles Against Poverty (BAP), a social enterprise that provides asset financing to smallholder farmers in isolated areas of northern Uganda, using bicycles as collateral to back their loans.

BAP’s focus is to increase opportunities for smallholder farmer families, and bicycles do just that. As part of their loan, new bicycle owners receive training and support from mechanics and BAP staff on how to keep their bikes in working order, and stay on track for financial success.


Hope In The Heights, © David Martin Huamani Bedoya, Peru, Regional Winner: Latin America & Caribbean, CGAP Photo and Video Contest
Hope In The Heights
© David Martin Huamani Bedoya, Peru
Regional Winner: Latin America & Caribbean

In the mountain plateaus of Ondores, Peru, cattle ranchers must cope year after year with heavy frosts that can kill their livestock. A woman holds in her arms a lamb, in a photo that portrays the immensely close relationship that people have forged with their environment and livestock, their form of subsistence.


Potato Harvest, © Shahab Naseri, Iran, Regional Winner: Middle East & North Africa, CGAP Photo and Video Contest
Potato Harvest
© Shahab Naseri, Iran
Regional Winner: Middle East & North Africa

October is the right time for harvesting potatoes in Dehgolan, one of the largest regions for cultivating this crop in Iran. The soil and water conditions allow farmers to plant potatoes on more than 95 percent of their land each year, and the crop plays a major role in growing the economy in this Kurdistan province.


Trading, © Alexandrino Lei Airosa, Indonesia, Regional Winner: East Asia & Pacific, CGAP Photo and Video Contest
© Alexandrino Lei Airosa, Indonesia
Regional Winner: East Asia & Pacific

Cash is still the common method of payment in Jogia, a small village in Yogyakarta. Here a transaction is taking place in this rural area of Indonesia.


Returning Home, © Sujan Sarkar, India, Regional Winner: South Asia, CGAP Photo and Video Contest
Returning Home
© Sujan Sarkar, India
Regional Winner: South Asia

Women return home at the end of the day after collecting firewood from the forests in West Bengal, India. Firewood remains a major source of fuel in poor rural areas, requiring women to walk long distances.


Video Marketing With Tablets, © Hailey Tucker, Kenya, Regional Winner: Africa, CGAP Photo and Video Contest
Video Marketing With Tablets
© Hailey Tucker, Kenya
Regional Winner: Africa

An agent uses a mobile tablet to show smallholder farmers in Kenya a video on asset-backed borrowing.

The video from One Acre Fund, a nonprofit social enterprise providing financial inclusion to more than 500,000 smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa, has testimonials from other smallholders on the asset-based loans.

One Acre Fund is running a trial to see whether they help clients who are rarely offered loans to better understand how the credit works and how working together they can improve their harvests.


Knitting A Better Future, © Daniela Ancira, Mexico, People's Choice, CGAP Photo and Video Contest
Knitting A Better Future
© Daniela Ancira, Mexico
People’s Choice

La Cana Proyecto de Reinserción Social (Social Rehabilitation Project) works with women in prison to teach them productive skills that will help them reintegrate into Mexican society, reducing the rate of recidivism.

The knitting teacher (center), trains various weaving and embroidery techniques at a weekly workshop held in each correctional facility.

With the money women earn from the sales, they are able to buy personal hygiene products and meet their basic needs. La Cana seeks to empower women to create a brighter future for themselves and their families, beyond the prison walls.


The Quinoa Farmer, © Ana Caroline De Lima, Peru, Honorable Mentions, CGAP Photo and Video Contest
The Quinoa Farmer
© Ana Caroline De Lima, Peru
Honorable Mention

Gabina is an indigenous woman who lives with her four children in the town of Yanque, Peru. She works in a quinoa farm in the Colca Valley.

Her routine starts very early in the morning. After sending her kids to school, Gabina walks more than two hours up the mountains to plant and harvest vegetables and quinoa.

Gabina, like many other poor people in Peru, works in informal ways to provide for her family, harvesting quinoa and selling crafts that she makes herself.


Festive Workshop, © Kaushik Majumder, India, Honorable Mentions, CGAP Photo and Video Contest
Festive Workshop
© Kaushik Majumder, India
Honorable Mention

In this workshop near Calcutta, statues of gods and goddess are manufactured in time for the religious festivals held throughout the year. This statue maker receives financial assistance from the microfinance committee of India.


Ceremony, © Shahab Naseri, Iran, Honorable Mentions, CGAP Photo and Video Contest
© Shahab Naseri, Iran
Honorable Mention

A man cooks a thick Iranian stew of vegetables and noodles called ‘ash’, which is believed to bring good fortune for those at the annual New Year ceremony. He lives in Oraman, an ancient settlement in western Iran. The abundance water in the rivers of this mountainous region feeds various gardens, which produce plentiful, high-quality produce known throughout the country.


Fish Trap Maker, © Mohd Nazri Sulaiman, Malaysia, Honorable Mentions, CGAP Photo and Video Contest
Fish Trap Maker
© Mohd Nazri Sulaiman, Malaysia
Honorable Mention

This man works as a traditional fish trap maker. He is able to complete one fish trap in two or three days, depending on its size. He makes the traps from bamboo and sells them locally in his village as well as to hotels and resorts for interior decoration. From this job, he is able to generate income for his family.


Cocoon Exposing, © Tran Van Tuy, Vietnam, Honorable Mentions, CGAP Photo and Video Contest
Cocoon Exposing
© Tran Van Tuy, Vietnam
Honorable Mention

This woman earns her living by gathering silk from silkworms to process and weave into fabric that is then sold.


River View, © Phyu Aye Pwint, Myanmar, Honorable Mention, CGAP Photo and Video Contest
River View
© Phyu Aye Pwint, Myanmar
Honorable Mention

This photo was taken on Pakkouku Bridge in Myanmar. It depicts the traditional life of the local Burmese people for whom water is an essential part of their daily life, health, and working conditions.


The Creator, © Sourav Karmakar, India, Honorable Mention, CGAP Photo and Video Contest
The Creator
© Sourav Karmakar, India
Honorable Mention

This clay artist, Ashim, is completing the model of a goddess/idol. He deploys great artistry and creativity. As the only member of his family to earn an income, his skill enables him to improve his economic conditions and sustain their livelihoods.


Family Lunch, © Kyaw Zay Ya, Myanmar, Honorable Mention, CGAP Photo and Video Contest
Family Lunch
© Kyaw Zay Ya, Myanmar
Honorable Mention

This family is not rich in monetary terms, but they work hard to live a happy life. They are farmers who work together to earn their living.


Siena International Photography Awards
Siena International Photography Awards



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