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What is PAWA

 

 

THE MAJOR CHALLENGE BEFORE PAWA:
Endowment of Prizes for African Literature

Since its founding in 1989, PAWA has struggled with the challenge of obtaining endowments for Prizes to honour African writers who have produced outstanding work and who have therefore contributed to the enrichment of not just African culture but world culture. It remains a major concern to PAWA that recognition of the fact that Africans have contributed to the development of world culture through literature has come about as a result of honours bestowed on African writers by literary bodies, agencies and organizations outside African continent. Thus today all the major prizes for African literature are organized by bodies outside Africa. Thus the Noma Award for publishing in Africa is administered in Japan. Bodies outside the African continent administer the Commonwealth Prize, the Booker Prize and the Nobel Prize for literature.

 

Africa itself has no single recognized effort for recognizing, rewarding and encouraging literary excellence by African writers of African descent anywhere in the world.  This is an unsettling paradox that PAWA has been seeking to correct since its founding in 1989. This remains a major challenge for PAWA. PAWA invites individuals, organisations and governments in Africa or with cultural connections to Africa and Africans to help meet this challenge.