A similar event held in 2016 was open only to Kenyans, according to The Associated Press. But this pageant drew participants from Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya.
Contestants said they saw it as a way to encourage confidence and inclusion for a group that remains the target of sometimes deadly stigma in Africa.
Ms. James, of Tanzania, called for an end to the ignorance that drives some to kill people with albinism for their body parts because of a belief that they possess magical powers, or even to dig up graves in the misguided belief that albinos will bring wealth and good fortune.
“The threat has reduced greatly, but it’s still there,” she said.