SOAS University of London

SOAS to host Caine Prize for African Writing for next ten years

16 May 2019

The Caine Prize for African Writing and SOAS University of London, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), setting out the arrangements for SOAS to host the annual Caine Prize award dinner for the next ten years.


The agreement was signed by Ellah Wakatama Allfrey OBE, Chair of the Caine Prize for African Writing, and Baroness Valerie Amos, Director of SOAS, at a ceremony in London on Monday 13 May (pictured above)

Now in its twentieth year, the Caine Prize was first hosted by SOAS in 2016 as part of the university’s centenary celebrations. The MoU ensures that relationship will continue for at least the next ten years.

In addition to the annual award ceremony, SOAS will also host a public event with each year’s shortlisted writers, providing an opportunity for anyone with an interest in African literature to get involved in the Caine Prize and hear directly from the authors themselves.

Commenting on the agreement, Ellah Wakatama Allfrey OBE, Chair of the Caine Prize, said: “The Caine Prize is grateful to SOAS for the support they have provided over the last two years, and I am delighted that this will continue for the foreseeable future. Central to the ethos of both organisations is the commitment to foster greater awareness, appreciation and understanding of literature and culture from across the African continent, which underpins this historic agreement”.

SOAS Director Baroness Amos said: “We are honoured to continue our collaboration with the Caine Prize and with the talented writers it recognises. At SOAS we have a long history of scholarship, research and teaching in African art and literature. Since the admittance of our first students in 1917, Swahili and Bantu languages have been taught at the School. We look forward to seeing the influence and impact that the next generation of African writers will continue to bring.”

The twentieth winner of the Caine Prize for African Writing will be announced on 8 July at a ceremony in Senate House, hosted by SOAS.

The Caine Prize is awarded annually 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.