Dr Zonke Majodina Calls On African Lawyers To Reflect On Challenges Facing Continent
By Yolanda Booyzen
Posted on 10 February 2011
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Master of Laws (LLM) in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa on Wednesday 2 February 2011, Dr Zonke Majodina, the Deputy Chairperson of the United Nations' Human Rights Committee called on the students to reflect on the challenges that Africa faces. These include recent uprisings in North Africa.
She spoke about the fact that Africa lags behind in achieving the Millennium Development Goals and asked the students to think about what challenges in the areas of human rights and democratisation will await them in terms of their work when they have completed the programme.
This year 30 students were admitted to the programme and they are drawn from 17 African countries. An equal number of women and men are represented on the programme.
At the opening ceremony the students were smartly turned out in their traditional attire and were joined by friends and relatives. During the ceremony they were introduced to guests. The students are drawn from a variety of backgrounds including civil service, the judiciary, civil society, academia and recent undergraduate students.
Students will spend the first semester (6 months) at the University of Pretoria where they will do intensive coursework taught by world experts and undertake field trips to Botswana, Swaziland, South Africa and Zimbabwe. They will each be assigned to one of the partner universities where they will spend the second semester (5 months) doing coursework, an internship and writing their dissertations. Graduation will take place in a specially organised ceremony at the University of Pretoria on 9 December.
The programme is funded by the European Commission, the Dutch government, the French government, the Raoul Wallenberg Institute in Sweden, the German Academic Initiative and the Open Society Initiative in Southern Africa.