The Cotton Challenge

• Only Sierra Leoneans are eligible to participate in these competitions.
• Competitions are open to individuals, schools or micro/small/medium organizations.
• Only one submission per participant and per category is allowed.
• Proposals will be judged on the basis of:
o Originality and creativity quotient of the idea.
o Simplicity and problem-solving effectiveness of the idea.
o Clarity of the execution plan;
o Demonstrated ability to execute successfully;
• Proposals will be evaluated by a panel of impartial subject matter experts;
• Submitting a proposal that is not yours will automatically result in disqualification;
• Submission of proposals begins April 1 and closes April 30, 2024;
• Proposals should be submitted to; and for backup purposes, to;
• Proposals should preferably be submitted in a PDF document, but proposals submitted in MS Word or Powerpoint will also be accepted;
• If images, graphics, audio, and videos are an integral part of your proposal, they should be seamlessly integrated into your main proposal document. If seamless integration is not possible, please attach these items as separate files and reference them appropriately in your proposal document;
• It is in the best interest of participants to make their proposals as detailed as necessary, but well articulated, organized and concise enough to facilitate understanding (proposals that are unnecessarily wordy, and therefore difficult to understand, can harm your chances of success);
• The evaluation of proposals will take place from May 1 to 20, 2024;
• The top 3 ideas from each category will be shortlisted to make a formal presentation to a panel;
• The winners will be announced at the awards evening on May 25, 2024;
• The organizers of this competition do not undertake to remunerate the proposals submitted. Only with the winners of the competitions will the organizers conclude an agreement regarding remuneration;
• The Jury’s decision regarding the winners is final and not contestable;
• By participating in this competition, you accept all stipulations made by the competition organizers;
• Proposal documents should follow the following format
o Proposal title:
o Full name of participant:
o Contact Information: (email, phone number)
o Occupation:
o Country of Origin: Sierra Leone
o City:
o Brief biography:

o Summary of the idea:
o Introduction:
o (Re)statement of the problem:
o Goals (what you hope to achieve in the end):
o Your implementation plan:
o How you hope to monitor and evaluate your project:
o Your budget:
o Conclusion:
• You can learn more about the challenges and the organizers by visiting their websites:,,,


For hundreds of years, the Sierra Leone cotton tree has remained a reminder of the freedom of the Sierra Leonean people and a symbol of our tenacity and hope for the future. But on May 24, 2023, a storm struck, and just like that, one of the most important icons of Sierra Leone’s culture, heritage and indomitable spirit was gone.

For this competition, we need well-articulated ideas and plans for what to do at the Cotton Tree site. Knowing the importance of the cotton plant to Sierra Leone and Sierra Leoneans, any idea to replace it must be equally symbolic and powerfully expressive of the Sierra Leonean spirit.



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