The African Studies Association offers a Distinguished Africanist Award in recognition of lifetime distinguished contributions to African studies. The Award is presented at the Annual Meeting Awards Ceremony, and consists of a plaque and a lifetime membership in the African Studies Association.

Any member of the Association is eligible to nominate a candidate. The nomination must include a vitae of the nominee, a detailed letter of nomination outlining how the nominee meets the criteria for the Award, and three similar letters from ASA members seconding the nomination. At least two of the latter must be affiliated with institutions other than that of the nominee. All nomination materials must be provided in English. The complete dossier of the candidate must be submitted on letterhead by postal mail to the Secretariat postmarked on or before April 30, or as a PDF emailed to Criteria for the Award are the distinction of contribution to Africanist scholarship, as measured by a lifetime of accomplishment and service in the field of African studies. Contributions to scholarship within and without the academic community are considered.

The Distinguished Africanist Award Committee is composed of the Past President, the President, the Vice President, and two ASA members designated by the Executive Committee of the ASA Board of Directors. The non-Board members of the committee serve three-year terms. The recommendation of the Committee is presented to the Board of Directors at its Spring Meeting, and the final choice is made by the Board.

Dossiers of candidates not selected for the award are kept by the ASA Secretariat and circulated for five consecutive years to the committee. The Distinguished Africanist Award Committee has the option of keeping candidate files open indefinitely.

The ASA Distinguished Africanist Award was established in the 1980’s to recognize and honor scholars who have contributed a lifetime record of outstanding scholarship in their respective field of African studies and service to the Africanist community.

The 2018 winner of the ASA Distinguished Africanist Award is Dr. Gyimah-Boadi 


Past President:
Professor Jean Allman (Washington University in St. Louis), Chair

Professor Maria Grosz-Ngate (Indiana University)

Vice President:
Professor Ato Quayson (New York University)

Professor Michelle Moyd (Indiana University)
Professor Wale Adebanwi (Oxford University)

Distinguished Africanist Award Winners