African Affairs African Author Prize 2012-2013

Monday, 6 October 2014
Nic Cheeseman

The African Affairs African Author Prize 2012-2013 was awarded to Peace Medie at the African Studies Association of the UK conference in Brighton in September. Peace won the prize for her groundbreaking paper, “Fighting gender-based violence: The women's movement and the enforcement of rape law in Liberia”.

Her article represents an important contribution to the study of gender-based violence in and the struggle for equality in Africa. It documents how difficult it can be to ensure that rape law is enforced, but also demonstrates that women’s NGOs are capable of making an impression on the implementation process when they operate in the context of “a relatively open political environment and political and material support from international organizations”.


Euclides Gonçalves won the runner-up prize for his paper, “Orientações superiores: Time and bureaucratic authority in Mozambique”. His article makes an original contribution to the study of bureaucracies. In a deep and penetrating analysis of Mozambique, Gonçalves shows that by producing intentionally ambiguous written and oral documents civil servants “party and state officials shift the focus of policy making from substance to process. In this way, bureaucratic authority is produced and reinforced through the manipulation of the timing of policy implementation.”

Congratulations to Peace and Euclides!

To read the papers for free, go to:

The African Author Prize is awarded for the best article published in the journal by an author based in an African institution, or an African Ph.D student based in an overseas university. The prize is in recognition of excellent African scholarship, which often does not reach audiences outside the African continent. To the extent possible, the prize committee will prioritize scholars at the beginning of their career.

The prize will be awarded every second year, for the best article published in the previous two year period.

Thus, the winning article was chosen from those articles published in the calendar years 2012-2013, and was conferred at the ASAUK conference in 2014. The winner receives a cash prize of £500, one year's free subscription to African Affairs, an economy airfare to London, and £500 for expenses to attend the ASAUK Conference in Oxford. The runner-up receives one year's free subscription to the journal.