The Africa-Asia Book Prize (AABP) was established by the International Convention of Asia Scholars (ICAS) in 2013, in cooperation with the Association for Asian Studies in Africa (A-Asia). Its aim is to create an international focus for publications on Africa-Asia while increasing their worldwide visibility. Eligible academic books are those in the Humanities and Social Sciences, written either by an African scholar on an Asian topic or by any other author on Africa-Asia (transnational) linkages. The Africa-Asia Book Prize is awarded to outstanding English/French/Portuguese-language works in the field of Africa-Asian Studies.
The 1st AABP award ceremony took place in Accra (Ghana) during the ‘AFRICA-ASIA: A New Axis of Knowledge’ conference in September. Publishers were permitted to submit books with 2009-2014 publication dates. 25 titles were entered in total. With the exception of one French title, all were English-language. The publications came from 14 commercial publishers and 8 institutional publishing houses. Of the 25 books, a quarter fell in the Humanities category and the rest in Social Sciences. The themes Economy/Development and International Relations were most common, with 8 and 7 books respectively. Diasporas/Migration, History and Society saw 4, 5 and 3 studies respectively, while the remaining categories Art/Culture, Environment, Health/Medicine, Literature, Religion and Urban were examined in just 1 or 2 studies.
Africa-Asian studies is an emerging field of studies. Most of the books in the running were published in the last two years and when looking through publishers’ autumn catalogues one cannot fail to note that there are a lot of books in the pipeline that will be eligible for the second edition of the Africa-Asia Book Prize.