The Caine Prize for African writing has entered a new partnership deal with the AKO Foundation, a London based charity which supports projects that promote arts, education and mitigation of climate problems.
As part of the agreement, the Prize becomes the ‘AKO Caine Prize for African Writing’ and will receive a grant to cover its core costs for the next three years.
The Foundation’s funding will enable the Prize to continue supporting writers in Africa through literary workshops, the publication of the annual anthology, and the annual award.
The AKO Caine Prize Chair, Ellah Wakatama, OBE, expressed gratitude to the Foundation and to all other dedicated supporters of the Prize for their commitment to celebrating outstanding African writing.
“Counting the AKO Foundation as our ally not only promises more stability for the Prize, but allows us to plan for the future with additional confidence and ambition. We are so grateful to the Foundation, as well as to all our existing donors, who have provided generous and consistent support throughout the years, and we look forward to championing literature from Africa and her diaspora in this new chapter for the Prize,” Wakatama said.
Speaking on his support for the prize, Founder of the AKO Foundation, Nicolai Tangen said: “We are delighted and proud to sponsor the AKO Caine Prize, and look forward to seeing the literary landscape flourish and prosper with further excellent contributions from African authors. In supporting the Prize we are making clear our desire to encourage and celebrate the exceptional work of African writers.”
Aiming to bring the work of African writers to an international audience, the Prize recognises, promotes and celebrates the exceptional literary works of the continent.
The AKO Caine Prize is awarded for a short story by an African writer published in English (indicative length 3,000 to 10,000 words). An African writer is taken to mean someone who was born in Africa, or who is a national of an African country, or who has a parent who is African by birth or nationality.
Previous Nigerian winners of the prize include Helon Habila (2001), Segun Afolabi (2005), EC Osondu (2009), Rotimi Babatunde (2012), Tope Folarin (2013) and Lesley Nneka Arimah (2019).