The finalists for the Grand Prix des Associations Littéraires 2019 were announced on May 7, 2020.
The Grand Prix des Associations Littéraires (Grand Prix of Literary Associations) were launched in Cameroon in 2013. They were then defined as bilingual English-and-French literary prizes awarded on the proposals of literary associations, especially in the Research and Belles-Lettres (prose) categories. Since 2015, the prize has been open to work in other languages with a focus on African languages. They are run in partnership with Brasseries du Cameroun with sponsorship by Castel Beer.
Previous winners of this prize have been Magloire Ondoa and Eric Mendi in 2013; Hermine Kembo and Charles Salé in 2014; Jacques Fame Ndongo and Fiston Mwanza Mujila in 2015; Felwine Sarr and Eric Mendi in 2016; Ebénézer Billé and Georges Moukouti as well as Macaire Etty in 2017. The 2018 winners were among others Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o and Yasmina Khadra.
Apart from the prizes in these categories the organisers also hand out a few other awards on the day of the ceremony. They include the Grand Prix De La Mémoire a posthumous honour which has been won by Francis Bebey (2013), Tchicaya U Tam’Si (2014), Cheikh Anta Diop (2015), Sankie Maimo (2016), and William Edward Burghardt Du Bois, also known as W.E.B. Du BOIS (2017). Also on offer is the Grand Prix des Mécènes that has been awarded to Guillaume Oyônô Mbia (2014), Patrice Kayo (2015), Bernard Dadié (2016), Seydou Badian Kouyaté (2017), and Jean-Marc Ela (2018).
The finalists for 2019 have been unveiled and they, and their endorsers, are;
- Cameroon 1884 – Present by Víctor Julius Ngoh, endorsed by ORES (Organization of Rural Éducation Simplicity).
- Le Djihad à Ke-Macina by Ali Tounkara and Bassirou Gaye, endorsed by Union des Écrivains du Mali.
- La construction de la Nation en Afrique by Papa Ogo Seck (Senegal), endorsed by Club du Journal Universitaire.
- The Old Drift by Namwali Serpell (Zambia), endorsed by Spirit of Book.
- Poema matemático by Gustavo Ponce Maldonado, endorsed by Academia literaria de la ciudad de México.
- La Verticale du cri’ by Gaston-Paul Effa (Cameroon), endorsed by Maison de la Culture Française.
- Travellers by Helon Habíla (Nigeria), endorsed by Young Readers Club for Leaders.
The date of the award ceremony, which is usually held at the French Institute of Cameroon in Yaounde, has not been scheduled as organisers await advice over the Covid-19 pandemic.