The advanced short course titled 'The Right to Development in Africa'is the eight of ten short courses scheduled for presentation by the Centre for Human Rights at the University of Pretoria in the current year. It ran from 25 to 29 August 2014 and was the result of a collaboration between the Centre for Human Rights at the Faculty of Law, University of Antwerp, Belgium and was supported by the Delegation of the Flemish Government in South Africa.

This intensive week-long programme attracted participants from all the regions of Africa as well as Europe. Experts in development thinking, both from Africa and Europe, provided fresh insights and approaches to the ‘controversial’ issues around the subject of ‘Right to Development.’

Some of the speakers were:

  • Prof Michelo Hasungunle (Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria)
  • Prof Wouter Vandenhole (University of Antwerp and UNICEF Chair in Children’s Rights)
  • Dr Rita Ozoemena (Researcher, SAIFAC, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa)
  • Prof Cephas Lumina (Extra-ordinary Professor, Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria)
  • Dr Donald Rukare (Chief Executive Officer, Governance and Policy Research Centre, Uganda)

Prof  Wouter Vandenhole provided sound discussions on the different ways of conceptualising the relationship between human rights and development. According to him, a Human Rights Based Approach to Development (HRBAD) entails full realisation of human rights from the inception process of an activity to the outcome. He further explained the HRBAD with the acronym PANEN – Participation; Accountability; Normativity; Empowerment; and Non-discrimination. He noted the potential tensions of a HRBAD pointing out that it is not a smooth process as it touches issues such as inequality, cultural practices, power, conflict and confrontation.

The Centre trusts that participants will return to their locations better informed and equipped to make progressive contributions and engagements on developmental issues from a human rights-based perspective.


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