A path to realising economic, social and cultural rights in Africa? A critique of the New Partnership for Africa's Development
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he article first sets out the legal framework for the protection of socio-economic and cultural rights in Africa. Some of the reasons that have been advanced for the non-realisation of socio-economic rights as compared to civil and political rights are discussed. Thereafter the article highlights the background of New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) and gives a brief description of its objectives and framework. It proceeds to look at the institutional set-up of NEPAD, including the operation of the African Peer Review Mechanism as an implementation strategy of NEPAD's objectives. The article examines how NEPAD intends to address the issue of socioeconomic rights through, for instance, ensuring an end to conflicts, democracy and good governance, and improvement of infrastructure and education. The article looks at NEPAD's commitment to ensure improved health and protection of the environment. It discusses NEPAD's approach to the advancement of culture and makes a critique of NEPAD's human rights component. NEPAD is Africa's hope for sustainable development and is a programme that commits African leaders to a number of positive undertakings, but NEPAD needs to be integrated with the African human rights system.