Tade Ipadeola, Anwuli Ojogwu, Dr Eghosa Imasuen, Prof Benedict Oramah (President, Afreximbank), Mrs Kanayo Awani (Deputy president), Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Mrs Chinelo Oramah, and Stephen Tio Kauna (Head HR, Afreximbank)

CANEX Prize for Publishing in Africa launched

The CANEX Prize for Publishing in Africa was launched at the Intra-African Trade Fair in Cairo, Egypt on Thursday, November 9, 2023.  

The Intra-African Trade Fair, the continent’s largest trade and investment fair, ran in Egypt’s capital from November 9 – 15, 2023. One of its standout events was the CANEX (Creative Africa Nexus) Summit which is all about the African creative economy. CANEX, which is a financed Afreximbank, seeks to facilitate the development and growth of the creative and cultural industries in Africa and the African diaspora. It provides a range of financing and non-financing instruments and interventions aimed at supporting trade and investment in Africa’s creative sector.

The CANEX Book Factory aimed at showcasing and elevating the African book value chain and increasing capacity in that sector to the continent was launched on November 9. It is aimed at fostering a literary culture and to promote sustainable business practices within the industry. The programme also offers a pan-African annual writing workshop and a quarterly newsletter for African writing and book industry players.

One of the key elements of the book factory is the CANEX Prize for Publishing in Africa to be awarded to the publisher of the best African fiction or non-fiction title. The annual prize is open to writers from all over the African continent with submissions reviewed by a team of experienced judges to select a long list before being narrowed down to the best works. The quality of writing, editing and production would be the criteria for evaluating the works. There is no word on how much the winner of the award will receive; as soon as information is available, we shall share it.

The project is done in conjunction with Narrative Landscape Press represented by founders Eghosa Imasuen and Anwuli Ojogwu and novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

“CANEX is about hope – the hope of many more African stories,” Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie said at the launch. “We need more African stories because stories matter. Stories can take away dignity, but they can also restore dignity. Stories shape politics and perceptions.”

In comments following the launch, Prof. Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Arreximbank, said that the Bank was supporting the Prize because of the pressing need to ensure the recognition of African talent.

“There is a need to create a platform to recognise African talent in our own local context so that they are not left always competing for prizes from other jurisdictions,” he said.

The inaugural winner will be honoured at the CANEX WKND in 2024.






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