n African Human Rights Law Journal - Economic integration and human rights in Africa : a comment on conceptual linkages

Volume 3, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1609-073X
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2096



This paper focuses on treaties establishing African regional and sub regional organisations for economic integration. These include AEC, COMESA, SADC, ECOWAS and EAC, all making reference to human rights. In addition, the founding treaties of all these organisations make provision for courts to determine trade disputes and interpret agreements. It is significant that trade arrangements such as Cotonou, AGOA and NEPAD also link economic integration to human rights by emphasising civil and political rights. It remains to be seen to what extent these organisations and agreements will apply human rights, in particular the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights. The paper reviews linkages and tensions between the rules and operations of the sub regional economic institutions in Africa and human rights as conceptualised under the African Charter.

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