Bellagio Publishing Network  

 BPN Newsletter Issue No 24, December 1998 


Insider account of Sudan's civil war wins 1998 Noma award

Peter Adwok Nyaba's The Politics of Liberation in South Sudan, An Insider's View, published in 1997 by Fountain Publishers Ltd, Kampala, Uganda, won the 1998 Noma Award for Publishing in Africa. The book was cited by the jury as `a pioneering text, the most important book to have appeared to date about the struggle for African national liberation in Sudan. It is a first class inside story of the history of the civil war of the past fifteen years, told with passion and commitment. Its stature, ringing significance and contribution to knowledge make it a powerful and unique book.' The jury felt that this neglected story should be widely heard and understood.

The study is a meticulously detailed and non-partisan analysis of one of Africa's oldest and most devastating civil wars, written by an insider in all fronts of the conflict in north and south Sudan.

Two further books, written by two of Africa's most outstanding intellectuals, were jointly awarded special commendation.

Combat pour le sens: un itinéraire africain by Paulin Hountondji (Cotonou: Les Editions du Flamboyant, 1997). The jury described the book as remarkable and unprecedented; an account of the development of an African intellectual whose idea of being an African is central to his vision.

Manufacturing African Studies and Crises by Paul Tiyambe Zeleza (Dakar: Codesria, 1977) is a rebuttal of interpretations and attitudes of scholars mainly, though not wholly, outside Africa, who have appropriated for themselves the study of Africa. The work is an important contribution to African intellectual history in the post-independence period.

One further book was singled out for honourable mention: Women, Presbyterianism and Patriarchy: Religious Experience of Chewa Women in Central Malawi by Isabel Apawo Phiri (Szomba: Christian Literature Association in Malawi, 1997).

108 titles from 65 publishers in 18 countries in 12 languages were submitted for the 1998 competition. The Noma Award jury is chaired by Walter Bgoya from Tanzania, one of Africa's most distinguished and respected publishers, with wide knowledge of both African and international publishing. The other members of the jury are: Dr Thandika Mkandawire, head of the UN Research Institute on Social Development; Professor Kole Omotoso, the noted Nigerian writer and critic; and Kay Raseroka, University Librarian of the University of Botswana, and a children's book expert; and Mary Jay, secretary to the jury.

For further information, contact Mary Jay, Noma Award for Publishing in Africa, PO Box 128, Witney, Oxon, OX8 5XU, England. Tel +44 1993 775235, fax +44 1993 709265, e-mail: [end] [BPN, no 24, 1998.]

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