By Uzor Maxim Uzoatu
THE Executive Committee of the New York African Studies Association (NYASA) has selected Prof Nwando Achebe to receive the 2022 ‘NYASA Distinguished Africanist Award.’
A letter dated March 14, 2023, signed by the President of NYASA, Dr Bekeh Ukelina and the Vice-President, Dr Ndubueze L. Mbah, stated that it was in recognition of her outstanding scholarship.
They wrote, “it is in recognition of your prolific and innovative scholarship in the field of Africana studies (six books and forty-two journal articles, book chapters, and essays), as well as your intellectual leadership as the founding editor of the Journal of West African History (JWAH) that the Executive Committee unanimously selected you as the recipient of this award.”
Prof Nwando Achebe’s father, the novelist Chinua Achebe had been an earlier award recipient. Other previous recipients of the NYASA award include Joseph E. Harris, Mahmood Mandani, Micere Githae Mugo, Molefi Kete Asante, Ali A. Mazrui, Muna B. Ndulo, Carole Boyce Davies, and Gloria Emeagwali.
The award letter to Prof Achebe read, “you were to receive the award at our 2022 Annual Conference that was rescheduled to hold at Hamilton College, Clinton, NY. However, due to the lingering global coronavirus pandemic, the award was put on hold until NYASA could resume its annual in-person conference.”
The NYASA Distinguished Africanist Award was instituted in 1991 and is awarded annually “to an academic who has made outstanding contributions through scholarly publications and educational activities to advance the field and knowledge of the Africana world. This award accentuates NYASA’s mission, vision, and commitment to sustaining intellectual vibrancy, cultural competency, and advancing the frontiers of knowledge on Africa, the African Diaspora, and the global human condition.”
The award will be presented at the 46th NYASA Annual Conference at the University of Calabar, Cross River State, on June 30, 2023.
Prof Nwando Achebe will deliver a keynote address at the conference.
Her elder brother, Dr Chidi Achebe, complimented her: “Congratulations to my baby sister Professor Nwando Achebe, the Jack and Margaret Sweet Endowed Professor of History; and the Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the College of Social Science at Michigan State University, for this award. Nwando, fantastic that you are following Daddy’s fantabulous path!”
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