n African Human Rights Law Journal - Systems problem and a pragmatic insight into the right to development governance for Africa

Volume 19 Number 1
  • ISSN : 1609-073X
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2096



This article draws from a previous publication by the same author and aims to provide an account of the concept of the right to development governance as a rights-based model for development suited to addressing the realities and myriad of development challenges confronting the African continent. In spite of Africa’s diverse socio-economic, cultural and geopolitical dynamics, the continent has occupied centre stage in the human rights and development discourse, most often presented in a negative light as the birth place of conflicts and instability, disease, extreme levels of poverty, endemic corruption, democratic insufficiencies, governance malpractices and general decline in an otherwise prosperous world. While efforts to speed up transformation have over the years multiplied at various levels, Africa is reported to be making very slow progress in meeting development goals. The situation necessitates the question: What is the problem? In responding to this question, the article achieves a threefold purpose. First, it demonstrates that the development challenges with which Africa is confronted are a systems problem requiring a rightsbased solution in the form of a context-specific model to accelerate improved standards of living and the attainment of human well-being in larger freedom. Second, it illustrates that Africa is retarded in development because of the lack of an adequate model to deliver on the promise to ensure improved living standards for the peoples of the continent. Third, it explores the practical dimensions of the right to development governance as a functional model with the potential to ensure the collective advancement of Africa, which guarantees to impoverished peoples an entitlement to socio-economic and cultural development.

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