Photo credit to Afreximbank.

An exciting annual award will now celebrate the important work done by African publishers. The CANEX Prize for Publishing in Africa was recently launched in Cairo, Egypt on November 9. The annual prize will be awarded to the publisher of the best African fiction or nonfiction title.

According to Writing Africa, CANEX (Creative Africa Nexus) Summit took place at the Intra-African Trade Fair, the continent’s largest trade and investment fair, in Egypt’s capital from November 9 to 15. CANEX, a financed African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), seeks to facilitate the development and growth of African creative economy by providing financial support.

Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Afreximbank, was excited to support the prize and recognize 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.”

The CANEX Book Factory was launched on Nov 9, aimed at highlighting the African book value chain and fostering the publishing industry. One of the main elements of the book factory is the CANEX Prize for Publishing in Africa. The annual prize is open to writers all over the African continent.

Submissions will be reviewed by a team of experienced judges who will select a longlist before choosing the finalists. The main criteria for evaluation are quality of writing, editing, and production. There is no information on how much the winner of the award will receive yet. Stay tuned!

The award is organized with Narrative Landscape Press represented by founders Eghosa Imasuen and Anwuli Ojogwu and novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Adichie remarked at the launch that CANEX will pave the way for more African stories:

CANEX is about hope – the hope of many more African stories. We need more African stories because stories matter. Stories can take away dignity, but they can also restore dignity. Stories shape politics and perceptions.

We are so happy to hear about the launch of this new award and hope there are many more to come! The inaugural winner of the CANEX prize will be crowned at the CANEX Weekend in 2024.