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Afreximbank Launches CANEX Prize for Publishing in Africa

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Canex Prize
Canex Prize

Afreximbank has announced the launch of the CANEX Prize for Publishing in Africa, a collaborative effort between the CANEX Book Factory and Narrative Landscape Press Limited.

This initiative is designed to promote a vibrant literary culture across Africa and foster a sustainable business ecosystem in the literary sector.

CANEX Programme and Goals

The CANEX Book Factory is a key component of the CANEX (Creative Africa Nexus) programme, which was initiated by Afreximbank in 2020. The programme focuses on leveraging the creative and cultural industries to drive development and job creation across Africa. The Book Factory aims to:

  • Promote African Literature: Through a Pan-African writing workshop and an e-newsletter dedicated to African literature.
  • Enhance the African Book Value Chain: By supporting various stages of book production and distribution, thereby elevating the entire ecosystem.

Details of the CANEX Prize for Publishing

The CANEX Prize for Publishing in Africa includes:

  • Main Prize: A USD 20,000 award for the publisher of the best trade book, which encompasses fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, excluding textbooks and academic books.
  • Finalists: Four additional finalists will each receive USD 2,000.

The prize aims to reward excellence in writing, editing, and book production, with special consideration for books printed and produced in Africa and those published in indigenous African languages. For the first year (2024), books published in the previous two years will be eligible.

Statements from Leaders

Mrs. Kanayo Awani, Executive Vice President of Intra-African Trade and Export Development Bank at Afreximbank, stated: “We are thrilled to launch the CANEX Prize for Publishing in Africa, an initiative that celebrates and promotes excellence in African publishing. This prize highlights our commitment to nurturing Africa’s creative industries and supporting the vibrant literary landscape across the continent. Through this prize, we aim to recognize and empower African authors and publishers who contribute significantly to our cultural identity and community enrichment in a multi-billion-dollar industry.”

Celebrated writer and novelist Chimamanda Adichie emphasized the inspirational impact of CANEX: “Imagine being an African, dreaming of becoming a writer, and being surrounded by like-minded individuals. It propels you, it gives you hope. I’ve always believed that hope is essential to the human spirit. For me, CANEX embodies hope—the hope of countless African stories yet to be told.”

Upcoming Event

The award ceremony for the CANEX Prize will be held during the CANEX WKND event in Algiers, Algeria, from October 16-19, 2024. This event will not only celebrate the winners but also serve as a platform to promote African literature and discuss the future of the continent’s literary and creative sectors.

Broader Objectives of CANEX

Beyond literature, CANEX supports various creative industries, including fashion, music, film, art, gastronomy, and sports. The initiative uses financial and non-financial tools to strengthen the creative and cultural economy within Africa and its diaspora.

The introduction of the CANEX Prize for Publishing in Africa marks a significant milestone in Afreximbank’s efforts to support and expand Africa’s creative industries, fostering cultural growth and economic development across the continent.

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