CANEX Book Factory Unveils Judges for Publishing in Africa Prize

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The CANEX Prize for Publishing in Africa is a part of the CANEX Book Factory. The CANEX Book Factory is an annual programme of events of the Creative Africa Nexus initiative of African Export – Import Bank (Afreximbank) that is designed to spotlight and elevate the African book value chain through the prize, a Pan-African writing workshop, and an e-newsletter highlighting African literature. 

The panel of judges for the prize has been revealed. It is chaired by Nigerian author, Dr. Wale Okediran, also featuring Ivorian writer and essayist, Edwige-Renée Dro, along with Egyptian poet, novelist and journalist, Ashraf Aboul-Yazid.

Dr. Wale Okediran serves as the Secretary-General of the Pan African Writers’ Association (PAWA). An accomplished author, he has published 14 novels, many of which are part of reading curriculum in various Nigerian universities. In 2010, he co-founded the Ebedi International Writers Residency in Iseyin, Oyo State, the first of its kind in Nigeria. He is also the Deputy Secretary-General for the Union of Writers from Africa, Asia, and Latin America. His novel, Tenants of the House, was adapted into a movie that has been featured on Netflix, showcasing his impact in both literature and media.

Edwige-Renée Dro is a writer, literary translator, and literary activist from Côte d’Ivoire. Her short stories and essays have been widely anthologized. Her interests lie in exploring linguistic justice via the various variations of English and French Spoken in Africa. She has served on the juries of Caine Prize for African Writing; the PEN International Short Story Prize and she has been a member of the advisory board of the PEN/HEIM Translation Fund. Dro is an Africa39 laureate, a 2019 Miles Morland Fellow, and a 2021 Writing Fellow of the Iowa International Writing Program. In 2020, she founded 1949: the library of women’s writings from Africa and the black world in Abidjan.

Ashraf Aboul-Yazid, also known as Ashraf Dali, has been a significant figure in cultural journalism for over 30 years and has authored and translated around 40 books. His literary works have been translated into multiple languages, including Korean, Turkish, Persian, English, Sindhi, Spanish, and Malayalam. Aboul-Yazid’s dedication to culture and literature has earned him prestigious awards including the Manhae Prizein Literature in 2014 in the Republic of Korea and the Arab Journalism Award in Culture in 2015 in the UAE. He has served as the President of the Asia Journalist Association since April 2016 and is a founding member of the Congress of African Journalists (CAJ).

The judges will present a longlist of ten publishers in August followed by a shortlist of five finalists in September. A USD20,000 prize will be awarded to the publisher of the best trade book at the CANEX WKND at Algiers this October. The remaining four finalists will each receive USD2,000 in prize money.

This year’s program will culminate in an Award Ceremony at the CANEX WKND in Algiers, Algeria, between 16-19 October, 2024.

Click here to read more on the CANEX Prize.

Bongiwe T. Maphosa

Bongiwe T. Maphosa

Bongiwe Maphosa is a budding author with a passion for storytelling. With her thought-provoking narratives, she takes her readers on a literary adventure. Bongiwe's works on the human condition from a fresh perspective have earned her recognition and publications in the Avbob Poetry Anthology of 2019, The Writer's Club of South Africa 2021, and JAY Lit in 2021. She hopes to cement her place in the literary community.