Out Of Africa: CANEX Invites African Publishers To Submit To Its Inaugural Prize For Publishing Worth $20,000

The Creative Africa Nexus programme (CANEX) is inviting African publishers to submit books for the inaugural CANEX Prize for Publishing in Africa.

The Prize is a partnership between CANEX Book Factory and Nigerian publisher Narrative Landscape Press Limited. The CANEX Book Factory, a key intervention under the CANEX programme, aims to promote a vibrant literary culture across Global Africa and encourage the development of a sustainable business ecosystem in the literary sector. 

The CANEX Book Factory will spotlight and elevate the African book value chain through a Pan-African writing workshop, an e-newsletter highlighting African literature and the Prize for Publishing in Africa. This will culminate in the Award Ceremony at the CANEX WKND to be held in Algiers, Algeria between 16-19 October 2024.

The following books are eligible for the Prize:

  • Full-length books of fiction and nonfiction.
  • Collections of short stories by a single author or several authors.
  • Collections of essays by a single author or several authors.
  • Collections of poems by a single author or several authors.
  • Books published in English, French, Arabic, Portuguese, Swahili, or Spanish.

The Prize jury comprises Nigeria’s Wale Okediran, Cote d’Ivoire’s Edwige-Renée Dro, and Egypt’s Ashraf Aboul-Yazid. The jury will present a longlist of ten publishers in August followed by a shortlist of five finalists in September.

A $20,000 prize will be awarded to the publisher of the best trade book. “Trade books” refers to books published for a general audience, including fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, and excludes textbooks and academic books. Additionally, four finalists will each receive $2,000 in prize money.

Mrs Kanayo Awani

Commenting on this announcement, Mrs Kanayo Awani, Executive Vice President-Intra African Trade and Export Development Bank at Afreximbank (African Export-Import Bank) said: “We are thrilled to announce the launch of The CANEX Prize for Publishing in Africa, a pioneering initiative by Afreximbank aimed at promoting and celebrating excellence in African publishing. This prize underscores our commitment to nurturing Africa’s creative industries and supporting the vibrant literary landscape across the continent. Through the CANEX Prize, we aim to recognise and empower African authors and publishers who play a vital role in shaping our cultural identity and enriching our communities through literature in what is a multi-billion-dollar industry.”

On the importance of initiatives such as CANEX, renowned writer and novelist, Ms. Chimamanda Adichie said: “Imagine being an African, dreaming about being a writer, surrounded by people in a room who share the same interests, it propels you, it gives you hope. I’ve always believed that there is nothing more essential to the human spirit than hope. For me, CANEX is about hope – the hope of many more African stories.”

CANEX was established by Afreximbank to support the development of Africa’s Creative and Cultural Industries and address some of the challenges faced by the continent’s economy through the provision of access to finance, capacity building, trade, investment and export promotion, access to new market opportunities, digital solutions, and policy advocacy to fast-track the scaling of Africa’s creative sectors within the global economy.

Read more about the Prize here:


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