Prize for Junior Scholars Undertaking Research on Africa

The Africa Spectrum journal is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary. To mark this occasion and in cooperation with the University of the Free State in South Africa, the Young African Scholar Award will be granted for the first time. The goal is to support junior scholars carrying out research on Africa.

Scholarship in African Studies still faces the challenge of capacity-building to enhance ownership by authors and institutions from and on the African continent. It also requires more coordinated efforts to provide the deserved space by African authors in the international domain. This Award seeks to strengthen efforts to further promote internationally recognized African scholarship in African Studies.

In 2014, the Centre for Africa Studies (CAS) at the University of the Free State (UFS) in Bloemfontein became affiliated with the Africa Europe Group for Interdisciplinary Studies (AEGIS), of which the Institute for African Affairs of the German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA) in Hamburg is a core member. The GIGA publishes Africa Spectrum, putting out three issues annually. It is currently ranked by the Journal Citation Reports by Thomson Reuters (2014) as the third-best African Studies journal, with an Impact Factor of 0.808 (9/63 in Area Studies). The journal is also linked to the German African Studies Association (Vereinigung von Afrikanisten in Deutschland/VAD). Sharing a commitment to African capacity-building in African Studies, the partner institutions are therefore pleased to announce the annual Young African Scholar Award.

In Issue 1 of Africa Spectrum every year starting in 2015, a call for papers will invite submissions of research articles under this heading to the journal by latest 1 July. These submissions are required to follow the formal guidelines for research articles as specified, but should be submitted under the category UFS/AS. By October of each year, a review committee comprised of one representative from each partner institution will select the submissions for publication. The selected papers will then go through to the journal’s standard double-blind peer review process and are finally also screened by at least one more member of the journal’s editorial group not involved in the review committee. If accepted, the paper will be published in the journal’s first issue the following year, jointly with a call for papers pertinent to the next award.

Submission Criteria

Those eligible to submit are postgraduate students nearing completion of their Ph.D. theses and postdoctoral scholars who are within five years of being awarded their Ph.D. at the time of the submission deadline. Scholars affiliated to the CAS are ineligible. Scholars should be from Africa or affiliated with African institutions.


Scholars who have been published under the auspices of the Young African Scholar Award will receive a three-year affiliation with CAS as a Research Fellow (without remuneration) in recognition of the achievement and prize money of 5,000 ZAR (five thousand South African rand), sponsored by the UFS.

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