It was announced last night that Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has won the twelfth Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction with her second novel 'Half of a Yellow Sun'.

The Chair of Judges, Muriel Gray, presented the author with the £30,000 prize and a limited edition bronze figurine called the 'Bessie' at the awards ceremony last night.

Gray said: "The judges and I were hugely impressed by the power, ambition and skill of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's novel.

"It's astonishing, not just in the skilful subject matter, but in the brilliance of its accessibility."

The 29-year-old becomes the youngest winner, and the first from Africa.

'Half A Yellow Sun' is set in the 1960s Biafran civil war, during which both Adichie's grandfathers died.

She beat five other contenders for the £30,000 women-only award, including the Booker Prize winning 'The Inheritance of Loss' by Kiran Desai.