More than 50 Master’s graduates

At the University of Pretoria's graduation ceremony on 8 December more than 50 students graduated with a Master's degree from the following Master's programmes organised by the Centre for Human Rights:

  • LLM International Trade and Investment Law in Africa (TILA) (23 students graduating; two with distinction)
  • LLM/MPhil Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa (HRDA) (organised in collaboration with 13 partner universities across the African continent; 27 students graduating, a record number of eight students with distinction)
  • LLM/MPhil Multidisciplinary Human Rights (two students graduating)
  • LLM/ MPhil Sexual and Reproductive Rights in Africa (one student graduating)
  • Master’s by research (one student graduating)

Seven doctoral graduates from the Centre; First DPhil graduate

Eleven students graduated with a doctoral degree (LLD/DPhil) from the Faculty of Law, of which seven were supervised at the Centre for Human Rights. Professor Magnus Killander supervised four and Professor Michelo Hansungule supervised two of the seven students. The doctoral graduates include alumni of the Centre's Master's programmes (Dr Victor Lando, HDRA Class; and Drs Chanet Smit and Bright Nkrumah, Multidisciplinary Human Rights). Dr Nkrumah was also the first DPhil graduate of the Centre for Human Rights (this degree is conferred to candidates who did not do their undergraduate degree in law).

Awards (HRDA and TILA)

The following prize winner for the HRDA programme were announced:
The Nelson Mandela Prize for the student with the best overall performance: Josephat Kilonzo
The Keba M’Baye Prize for the best mini-dissertation: Tsion Woldu
The Victor Dankwa Prize for the best student in African Human Rights: Stephen Buabeng-Baidoo
The Ubuntu Prize for the student who best captured the values of humanity: Richard Lusimbo

Annually, the Vera Chirwa Prize is also awarded to a graduate on the HRDA who has after completing the degree shown singular commitment and self-sacrifice in furtherance of human rights and democracy. The Award for 2017 was shared: It was awarded to Melanie Smuts, Class of 2012, in recognition of her courageous and outstanding efforts in promoting the right to education through the establishment of Streetlight Schools which has, by virtue of its groundbreaking work, fostered access to quality education for some of the most underserved communities in South Africa. It was also awarded to Musu Bakoto Sawo, Class of 2014, in recognition of her fearless advocacy for the rights of women and girls in the Gambia, and for being a leading African voice in the fight against harmful practices, especially female genital mutilation.

The following award of prizes were made for the TILA Class of 2017:

  • Best student in French as a Medium of Trade & Investment Negotiations: Sarah Oreoluwa Oluyeju
  • Best academic performance in the Module: International Trade Law: Ebunoluwa Finda Tengbe
  • Best academic performance in the Module: International Trade Law: Temwa Mpho Kumwenda
  • Best academic performance in the Module: International Investment and Business Law: Eva Akoth Biegon
  • Highest mark in the mini-dissertation: Roselyne Stephen Kiluma

Opportunities to five graduates of the HRDA Class of 2017

Annually, the Centre raises some funds to enable some of the top graduates to undertake one-year paid internships/ take up positions as legal staff at African Union human rights institutions, or to support the Faculty of Law of the University of The Gambia, by acting as teaching staff. The following graduates of the Class of 2017 have the opportunity to contribute as follows in 2018:

  • University of the Gambia Faculty of Law: Nyathi Nqobani
  • African Committee on the Rights and Welfare of the Child: Kahbila Mbuton
  • African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights: Stephen Buabeng-Baidoo
  • African Court on Human and Peoples Rights: Rotondwa Mashige
  • Doctoral candidate and tutor: Centre for Human Rights: Tresor Muhindo

The Ceremony was attended by representatives from the partner universities of the HRDA programmes, as well as by the partners of the Global Campus of Human Rights, members of the board of the European Inter-University Centre for `human Rights and Democratisation (EIUC) and the EIUC Secretary General.




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