Blaise Ndala, Marc Alexandre Oho Bambe, Bessora, and Emmelie Prophete are finalists of the Prix des Cinq Continents de la Francophonie 2021 announced on October 21, 2021.
Prix des Cinq Continents de la Francophonie (English: Five Continents Prize of the Francophonie) was established by the International Organization of the Francophonie in 2001. It is aimed at highlighting literary talents reflecting the expression of cultural and editorial diversity in the French language on five continents and to promote them on the international scene. Some previous winners have been Alain Mabanckou, Wilfried N’Sondé, Yamen Manaï, Fawzia Zouari, and Beata Umubyeyi Mairesse.
The road for 2021 started with representatives from six reading committees reading and selecting ten finalist works, representing ten countries, from among the 145 candidate works that were submitted. These committees are L’Association Passa Porta (Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles), l’Association des écrivains du Sénégal, l’Association du Prix du jeune écrivain de langue française (France), l’Association Camp littéraire Félix du Canada, l’Association Culture elongo (Congo) and le Comité du Vietnam (Vietnam).
The following writers of African descent made the finalists list for 2021;
- Dans le ventre du Congo by Blaise Ndala (Congo-Canada) éd. Mémoire d’encrier (Canada-Québec)
- Les Lumières d’Oujda by Marc Alexandre Oho Bambe (Cameroun-France) éd. Calmann-Lévy (France)
- Les Orphelins by Bessora (France-Gabon) éd. JC Lattès (France)
- Soleil à coudre by Jean d’Amerique (Haïti) éd. Actes Sud (France)
- Les villages de Dieu by Emmelie Prophete (Haïti) éd. Mémoire d’encrier (Canda-Québec)
The international jury chaired by Paula Jacques (France-Egypt alongside others from all over the French-speaking world will now read through the finalists’ lists. Others on the jury are Lise Bissonnette (Canada-Quebec), Vénus Khoury-Ghata (Lebanon), Liliana Lazar (Romania), Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio (Mauritius), Wilfried N’Sondé (Congo-France), René de Obaldia (Hong-Kong), Lyonel Trouillot (Haiti), Abdourahman Waberi (Djibouti), Jun Xu (China) , Beata Umubyeyi Mairesse (Rwanda-France), Mohammed Aïssaoui (France-Algeria), Victor Comte (Switzerland), 2020 winner of the Young Writer Prize, Binta Tini, Representative of the International Association of French-speaking booksellers (AILF) and Fawzia Zouari (Tunisia-France).
This jury will designate the winner on December 16, 2021 and the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF) will then ensure its promotion on the international literary scene for an entire year.