The Right to Development in Africa: Issues, Constraints, and Prospects.

AuthorObidoa, Chinekwu

Kamga, Serges Djoyou. The Right to Development in Africa: Issues, Constraints, and Prospects. New York: Routledge, 2020.

Countries in Africa have made important and, in many cases, what can be considered context-defying progress in the area of development, but many gaps remain. This text provides a much-needed look at a dimension of the development discourse that has not received sufficient attention, the Right to Development (RTD). RTD is conceptualized as a multidimensional, composite, and intricately interconnected set of rights of which every person and all peoples are entitled. Grounded on the tenets of the 1986 Declaration on the Right to Development, RTD is an inalienable human right. The text is an edited volume drawn from papers presented at the International Colloquium on "Actualizing the Right to Development in Africa," organized in 2018 by the Thabo Mbeki African Leadership Institute (TMALI) housed in the University of South Africa. The two main goals of this text are (1) to explore the issues and constraints that pose as barriers to RTD in Africa and (2) to examine how the hindrances can be addressed for the actualization of RTD in Africa. The text is divided into five major sections.

Part I focuses on governance and RTD. Emphasis is placed on the governance structures (including legal instruments, constitutions, and institutions) required and responsible for achieving RTD. The absence of such elements will undermine the possibility of achieving RTD. The idea that it will take a well-governed society to achieve RTD is evident from the papers discussed in this section. Additionally, the role of international law in supporting governance in African countries is explored. Part II looks at corruption as a major barrier to RTD. A key concept presented and explored here is the role of social and ethical principles in achieving RTD and the implication of corruption on development in Africa. Part III addresses the pertinent issue of the place of African cultures in development in Africa. Emphasis is placed on how the failure to take African worldviews, philosophies, values, ideologies, and cultures into consideration starting from the partitioning of Africa and the colonial era to the present day has hurt the continent. The marginalization of African cultures in the development process and even in development discourse has had devastating implications. The idea that development cannot occur in a vacuum has been reiterated by...

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