Pan African Human Rights Programme Enters Second Decade
Posted on 28 January 2010
Justice Yvonne Mokgoro in the front row in the centre (wearing a grey jacket), with some of the students from across Africa.
Officially welcoming thirty students from 19 African countries starting their studies in human rights and democratisation in Africa at the centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria on 22 January 2010, Justice Yvonne Mokgoro challenged them to ensure that national and regional institutions become effective vehicles for change on the continent.
Justice Mokgoro was one of the first Constitutional Court judges and retired at the end of last year. She emphasised that there are many obstacles to good governance in Africa which include internal conflict, poverty, mismanagement and corrupt ion. She has however urged students that once they graduate from the programme, they should put their knowledge, skills and expertise to the services of Africa’s people. They should also ensure government’s accountability through their work as lawyers in civil society as well as in academic and in national human rights institutions.
The opening of the programme on Friday 22 January 2010, marks the start of the second decade of the Master of Law programme (LLM – Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa), presented by the Centre for Human Rights - at the Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria. The programme is presented by UP’s Centre for Human Rights in collaboration with 11 other law faculties in Africa.
Over the first 10 years, almost 300 students from 36 countries have graduated from the programme. This year students from Liberia and Mali were admitted to the programme for the first time. Students spend the first six months of the year in Pretoria and thereafter they are being placed at one of the partner institutions in countries like Senegal, Ethiopia and Mauritius.