by Usani Odum

This year, the African Union commemorates the 30th anniversary of one of the biggest human calamities to have occurred on the continent. From April to July 1994, an estimated one million Tutsis were slaughtered by their Hutu countrymen in Rwanda. In the wake of the genocide, Rwanda rolled out numerous transitional justice mechanisms to help piece together its broken society, including accountability measures.

by Bonolo Makgale 

The year 2024 is an extraordinary year for elections in all its hazardous glory as it sets the record for the greatest number of people living in countries that are holding elections. More voters than ever in history will be heading to the polls in at least 64 countries representing a combined population of about 49% globally. Many of these votes will test the limits of democracy, while others will be exercises in rubber-stamping the results of which, for many, will prove consequential for years to come. Yet, these elections are taking place against the backdrop of a relentless global evolution of digital technology which has ushered in a new era of unprecedented challenges in the democratic and political space . In an era of data manipulation and the growing influence of artificial intelligence, democracy stands at a critical crossroads. 

by Prof Frans Viljoen

The Mauritius Supreme Court has declared unconstitutional a law that criminalises consensual same-sex acts between adult men. The decision boosts the trend in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region towards decriminalisation. Now, a slight majority – nine out of 16 member states – do not prohibit gay and lesbian sexual relations.

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria (the Centre) stands in solidarity with the global community in observance of World Radio Day, celebrated on 13 February annually. World Radio Day emerged from a proclamation in 2011 by UNESCO member states before being endorsed by the UN General Assembly in 2013. The day is commemorated in recognition of the significance of radio as a medium for accessible communication across the globe.

By Prof Magnus Killander

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) will be holding public hearings on 11-12 January at the Peace Palace in The Hague, the seat of the court, in a case brought by South Africa against Israel. South Africa has accused Israel of violating the 1948 Genocide Convention in its military bombardment and siege of Gaza, which started after the deadly 7 October Hamas attack on Israel. Both Israel and South Africa have ratified the genocide convention. We [The Conversation] asked human rights and international law expert Magnus Killander for his insights.

By Bonolo Makgale and Nyasha M Mpani

"The revolution cannot triumph without the emancipation of women” — Thomas Sankara. Women on the African continent make up 50% of the population. Yet they continue to face discrimination, inequality and lack of access to equal opportunities. 

By Dr Msipa Roux

The current legal obligation on South Africa in terms of domestic and international law and legal precedent is absolutely clear: the government must arrest and surrender Vladimir Putin to the International Criminal Court (ICC) should he enter South African territory.

by Professor Daniel Bradlow

Inflation is a global problem. At the end of August, it was 8.3% in the US and 9.1% in the Euro area. It is 20.3% in Nigeria25% in Malawi, and over 30% in Ethiopia and Ghana. 

The impact on Africa is devastating. The International Energy Agency estimates that by the end of the year 30 million more Africans will be unable to afford fuel for cooking. The World Bank estimates the number of Africans living in extreme poverty will increase from 424 million in 2019 to 463 million this year.

by Tariro Sekeramayi

Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) play an important and ever-shifting role in African politics and influence the power dynamics on the continent. A vibrant and functioning CSO sector is essential to African societies and their development in various ways, including lobbying for the protection of human rights, amplifying civil voices and acting as external oversight bodies, holding African governments to account. CSOs' influence on policy-making on the continent is essential as they represent the interests of various groups. One of the African Union (AU) organs that facilitates the involvement of African CSOs and, ultimately, the African citizenry is the AU Economic, Social & Cultural Council (ECOSOCC). Established in 2004 by way of Articles 2 and 25 of the AU Constitutive Act, as an advisory body to the AU, this organ provides a platform for representation and involvement of African CSOs in decision-making on the continent through influencing AU policies, programmes and principles. Key areas of ECOSOCC's work in this regard are upholding the principles and policies of the AU by advising on and evaluating these programmes; undertaking studies and making recommendations; and contributing to the promotion of human rights, the rule of law, good governance, and democratic principles.

by Professor Daniel Bradlow

In most rich countries the news that a mission from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is coming to visit is met with indifference. But, in most African countries the news can cause great consternation.


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