Voices of a Brighter Future

UN-OHRLLS run the Voices of a Brighter Future Sustainable Energy Journalism Competition 


Journalists from Least Developed Countries were invited to submit stories on how sustainable energy is positively affecting communities in their countries. Seven winners, were selected by a high-level panel to attend the Sustainable Energy For All Forum in Lisbon (2-3 May, 2018) and also have their stories featured by the UN.

A new digital magazine featuring the winning LDC journalists and their stories was launched on 1 May, 2018.  The magazine’s launch was timed to coincide with the start of the Sustainable Energy for All Forum taking place in Lisbon (2-3 May, 2018) and where the winning journalists participated. 

The competition had been run by UN-OHRLLS with generous support from the Government of Norway, Sustainable Energy for All and the UN Office for South-South Cooperation.

Competition Winners

Winners (from top left):



Competition Information

Calling all journalists from the Least Developed Countries [English]

The United Nations Office of the High Representative for Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS) is looking for inspiring stories on how sustainable energy positively impacts communities and individuals in the world’s Least Developed Countries.

Three winners of the ‘Voices of A Brighter Future’ competition will have their work featured by the United Nations and other news outlets, with travel and expenses covered to report from the Sustainable Energy for All Forum in Lisbon, Portugal 2-3 May 2018.

Entries will be judged by a high-level panel from the United Nations, sustainable energy and media sector.

Submissions must have been published or broadcast between 16 August 2017 and 22 March 2018 (DEADLINE EXTENDED TO 22 MARCH 2018). Please read the guidelines for submissions in full.

Please Note this competition is only open for journalists who are nationals from Least Developed Countries. A full list of these countries is available here: http://bit.ly/2v4Oawy

This competition has been made possible with the generous financial support of the Government of Norway.


Appel à tous les journalistes des Pays les Moins Avancés [French]

Le Bureau des Nations Unies pour la Haute Représentante des Pays les Moins Avancés, des Pays en Développement Sans Littoral et des Petits États Insulaires en Développement (UN-OHRLLS) est à la recherche d’histoires inspirantes sur la façon dont l’énergie durable affecte positivement les communautés et les individus dans les Pays les Moins Avancés du monde.

Le travail des trois lauréat(e)s du concours qui s’intitule “Les Voix D’Un Avenir Plus Radieux” sera mis en exergue par les Nations Unies et les agences de presse. L’ONU se chargera des frais du voyage et dépenses des trois lauréat(e)s à Lisbonne, au Portugal, où ils (elles) couvriront les événements du Forum sur l’Énergie Durable qui se déroulera à Lisbonne, les 2 et 3 mai 2018.

Les reportages soumis seront jugés par un panel de haut niveau composé des représentants de l’ONU, de l’énergie durable et du secteur des médias.

Nous demandons que les reportages soient publiés ou diffusés entre le 16 août 2017 et le 16 mars 2018 et soumis au plus tard à minuit le 16 mars 2018 (à l’heure normale de l’Est).  Veuillez appuyer ici pour lire les instructions intégrales de participation à ce concours.

Veuillez noter que ce concours est ouvert uniquement pour les journalistes ressortissant(e)s de Pays les Moins Avancés. Une liste complète de ces pays est disponible sur le lien suivant: http://bit.ly/2v4Oawy


Panel of Judges

Fekitamoeloa Katoa ‘Utoikamanu

Fekitamoeloa Katoa ‘Utoikamanu [@fekita_u]


Ms. ‘Utoikamanu is Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States

Ms. ‘Utoikamanu, a Tongan national, took up her appointment as the High Representative in May 2017. Prior to taking up her position with the United Nations, she was the Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Tourism in Tonga.

Ms. ‘Utoikamanu has a wealth of national, regional and international experience at various senior leadership levels.  She was previously Acting Pro-Chancellor and Chair of the Council of the University of the South Pacific (2015), Deputy Pro-Chancellor and Deputy Chair of the Council of the University of the South Pacific (2009-2016), Deputy Director General and Director of Education, Training and Human Development of the Secretariat of Pacific Community (2009-2015), Permanent Representative and Ambassador of the Government of Tonga to the United Nations, United States of America, Cuba and Venezuela and High Commissioner to Canada (2005-2009), and Secretary for Foreign Affairs and European Commission’s National Authorizing Officer for Tonga (2002-2005).

Alison Smale [@alison_smale]


Appointed by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, Ms. Alison Smale of the United Kingdom became Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications at the UN on 1 September 2017.

Ms. Smale brings to the post almost 40 years of experience in international journalism in which she has been a reporter, an editor and a senior leader. Before joining the UN, she served most recently (2013 to 2017) as the Chief of Bureau in Berlin for the New York Times.

Ms. Smale served previously as Executive Editor of the International Herald Tribune from 2008 to 2013, becoming the first and only woman to have held that post. She joined that newspaper in 2004 as its Managing Editor.

Prior to that Ms. Smale was the New York Times’ Deputy Foreign Editor (2002 to 2004) and Weekend Foreign Editor (1998 to 2002). Earlier in her career she reported for United Press International and the Associated Press as a bureau chief or correspondent in Vienna, Moscow and Bonn.

Ms. Smale, who studied in Bristol, Munich and at Stanford in the United States, holds a Bachelor of Arts in German and politics from Bristol University, and a Master of Arts in journalism from Stanford University. She also has an Honorary Doctorate in Law from Bristol University.

Ms. Smale is fluent in English, French, German and Russian.

Rachel Kyte [@rkyte365]


Rachel Kyte is Chief Executive Officer of Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL), and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All.

A leading advocate for sustainable development, Ms. Kyte is focused on affordable, reliable and sustainable energy as the key to combating both poverty and climate change. Ms. Kyte drives SEforALL’s work to mobilize action towards its 2030 goals of ensuring universal access to modern energy services; doubling the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency; and doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix. As Special Representative for the Secretary General she is the point person in the UN for action towards the recently agreed global goal on sustainable energy.

Ms Kyte served until December 2015 as World Bank Group Vice President and Special Envoy for Climate Change, leading the Bank Group’s efforts to campaign for an ambitious agreement at the 21st Convention of the Parties of the UNFCCC (COP 21). She was previously World Bank Vice President for Sustainable Development and was the International Finance Corporation Vice President for Business Advisory Services.

Recipient of numerous awards for women’s leadership, climate action and sustainable development, she is a Professor of practice in sustainable development at Tuft’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. She holds a master’s degree in international relations from Fletcher, and a bachelor’s degree in history and politics from the University of London.

Yinka Adegoke [@YinkaWrites]


Yinka Adegoke is Africa editor for Quartz. He oversees Quartz Africa coordinating its news, ideas and events in partnership with an editorial team across the continent. As a journalist, has reported from more than 10 countries across Europe, Africa and the North America. Before joining Quartz, Yinka was deputy editor at Billboard where he ran the business coverage for the world’s leading music magazine brand. Prior to that he was Reuters’ senior media correspondent covering the global media business where he focused on the digital disruption of the traditional media industry. Earlier in his career Yinka was an editor at New Media Age in London covering the early days of the digital media revolution and a regular writer for The Guardian and The Financial Times. He has spoken at the World Bank, WTO and numerous business and technology events around the world. He’s also a pundit on broadcast outlets including BBC, CNN and NPR.


Sherwin Bryce-Pease [@sherwiebp]


Born and raised in East London, Sherwin has interviewed everyone from presidents such as Barack Obama to actors such as Morgan Freeman. He has also interviewed South African presidents Thabo Mbeki, Kgalema Motlante and Jacob Zuma, as well as local celebrities such as Black Coffee.

After completing a degree in Journalism and Linguistics at Rhodes University, Sherwin started out as a marketing and communications intern in the US during which time he also worked as an International Communications Liaison for Rhodes University. When he came back to South Africa, he started working for the SABC’s Newsbreak after which he became a Bulletin Writer and News Presenter on SAFM. In 2005, Sherwin was appointed Insert Producer and Co-Anchor of SABC’s Weekend Live as well as being a stand-in presenter on SABC 2’s Morning Live. In March 2008, Sherwin was appointed SABC’s US Bureau Chief & Correspondent, based at the United Nations in New York where he also covered the recent US elections. Sherwin was elected the President of the UN Correspondents Association in 2017 and is the first African to be elected to this position.

Harish Hande [@Harishhande]


Harish Hande is the co-founder of SELCO, a social venture to eradicate poverty by promoting sustainable technologies in rural India, and the implementer of several REEEP-funded projects. With its headquarters in Bangalore, SELCO has 31 branches in the Indian states of Karnataka and Gujarat, and has installed solar lighting systems in over 145,000 households there.

Harish and SELCO have won many awards including the Ramon Magsaysay Award in 2011, the Ashden Award for Sustainable Energy in 2005 and the Ashden Outstanding Achievement Award in 2007. He was named Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2007 by the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship and the Nand & Jeet Khemka Foundation. India Today has named him one of the 50 pioneers of change in India.

Harish earned his Doctorate in energy engineering (solar specialty) at the University of Massachusetts (Lowell). He has an undergraduate degree in Energy Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur.

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