IATF2023 hosts launch of CANEX Prize for Publishing in Africa

Categories: Press Releases

(From left to right) Mrs Kanayo Awani, Executive Vice President – IATB, Afreximbank; H.E. Jean-Louis Ekra, Former President, Afreximbank; Didier Drogba, Former Professional Footballer & Founder, The Didier Drogba Foundation; H.E. Prof. Benedict Oramah, President and Chair of the Board, Afreximbank; Mrs Chinelo Oramah; Hugues Fabrice Zango, Olympic Medalist; Gold Medal Winner, World Athletics Championships; Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Award-Winning Novelist, and Arit Okpo, Journalist

Cairo, 10 November 2023:   Acclaimed novelist Chimamanda Adichie and Narrative Landscape Press, in partnership with Creative African Nexus (CANEX) and the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), yesterday in Cairo announced The CANEX Prize for Publishing in Africa.

Designed to be awarded to the publisher of the best African fiction or non-fiction title, with the inaugural winner to be honoured at the CANEX WKND in 2024, the annual prize will be open to writers from all over the African continent.

Performing the launch as part of the CANEX Summit taking place alongside the third Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF2023), Ms. Adichie, who was joined by Eghosa Imaseun, a writer who is also publisher of Narrative Landscape Press, drew from her experience of running an annual creative writing workshop, which counts Imaseun as one of its alumni, to create and announce the prize. 

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

According to Ms. Adichie, submissions of creative works of fiction and non-fiction from writers will be 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.

The CANEX Prize for Publishing in Africa is part of a strategic intervention programme under the CANEX Book Factory and is aimed at showcasing and elevating the African book value chain and increasing capacity in that sector. The CANEX Book Factory seeks to foster 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.

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.

Prof. Oramah said that Afreximbank’s ambitions for the prize were very high and that the goal was to see an African equivalent of global publishing awards come to fruition.

The CANEX programme, set up by 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.

IATF2023, Africa’s largest trade and investment fair, opened on 9 November and will run till 15 November 2023.

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About the Intra-African Trade Fair

Organised by the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), in collaboration with the African Union Commission (AUC) and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat, the Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF) is intended to provide a unique platform for facilitating trade and investment information exchange in support of increased intra-African trade and investment, especially in the context of implementing the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA). IATF brings together continental and global players to showcase and exhibit their goods and services and to explore business and investment opportunities in the continent. It also provides a platform to share trade, investment and market information with stakeholders and allows participants to discuss and identify solutions to the challenges confronting intra-African trade and investment. In addition to African participants, the Trade Fair is also open to businesses and investors from non-African countries interested in doing business in Africa and in supporting the continent’s transformation through industrialisation and export development.

For more information, please visit www.intrafricantradefair.com

About Afreximbank

African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is a Pan-African multilateral financial institution mandated to finance and promote intra-and extra-African trade. For 30 years, the Bank has been deploying innovative structures to deliver financing solutions that support the transformation of the structure of Africa’s trade, accelerating industrialization and intra-regional trade, thereby boosting economic expansion in Africa. A stalwart supporter of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), Afreximbank has launched a Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS) that was adopted by the African Union (AU) as the payment and settlement platform to underpin the implementation of the AfCFTA. Working with the AfCFTA Secretariat and the AU, the Bank is setting up a US$10 billion Adjustment Fund to support countries to effectively participate in the AfCFTA. At the end of 2022, Afreximbank’s total assets and guarantees stood at over US$31 billion, and its shareholder funds amounted to US$5.2 billion. The Bank disbursed more than US$86 billion between 2016 and 2022. Afreximbank has investment grade ratings assigned by GCR (international scale) (A), Moody’s (Baa1), Japan Credit Rating Agency (JCR) (A-) and Fitch (BBB). Afreximbank has evolved into a group entity comprising the Bank, its impact fund subsidiary called the Fund for Export Development Africa (FEDA), and its insurance management subsidiary, AfrexInsure, (together, “the Group”).

For more information, please visit: www.afreximbank.com

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