Okri made Caine Prize vice-president

 

Man Booker-winning Nigerian author Ben Okri has been announced as the new vice-president of the Caine Prize for African Writing.

Zimbabwean Ellah Allfrey, deputy editor of Granta, steps into the role of deputy chair of the prize, which is Africa’s leading literary award.

Chairman of the council of the prize Jonathan Taylor said: “I warmly welcome these two important appointments. Ben was in at the beginning and has been associated with the prize for 13 years; he is one of the giants of African literature. Ellah with her distinguished involvement in publishing and literary fiction will bring a further important international dimension to the prize.”

Okri, who sits on the advisory council, described the role as “a wonderful opportunity to contribute to the enrichment of literature".

Allfrey, who is also on the board and a trustee, said: “Any prize that awards a writer for excellence and showcases the possibility of a writing life is, to my mind, a hugely positive thing - I am excited to be part of the Caine Prize's continued efforts to bring these stories to the world.”

The shortlist for the 2012 prize will be announced on 1st May.