CABA has three major objectives:
- to encourage the publication of children’s and young adult books that contribute to a better understanding of African societies and issues,
- to recognize literary excellence,
- and to acknowledge the research achievements of outstanding authors and illustrators.
The awards are presented in three categories:
- Young Children
- Older Readers
- New Adult (books marketed to adults but suitable for mature teens).
Annually, the Saturday after the CABA Ceremony, the CABA Festival follows at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art. It is open to the public with activities for children such as: art activities, storytelling, face painting and meeting the authors of the winning books.