Evaluation of the Rule of Law as a Pre-requisite to the Right to Development in Africa




Journal Title

Journal ISSN




Volume Title


Denning Law Journal



Peer reviewed



Africa faces myriads of challenges one of which is the need for development; as a result, development is a critical issue in Africa. The apparent disparity and inequity of the global economic system in the aspect of international economic development, conspicuous particularly on the Africa continent has dominated academic discourses since the era of the decolonization of the undeveloped countries. One of the direct consequences of this was the evolution of right-based approach to development agenda which have implications for democracy and the rule of law; two elements that have suffered serious setbacks in almost all African countries. This paper examines the extent to which the effective enforcement of the rule of law in African countries can aid the human rights based approach to development in order to deliver meaningful improvements to the African development crisis. It starts by highlighting the evolution of the rights based approach to development agenda with a view to clarifying the meanings of the “right to development”. It further examines the import of the doctrine of rule of law, its relationship to the rights-based approach to development agenda and the theoretical underpinnings of both concepts. The paper continues to assess the position of the rule of law in African countries now, and its implications for the realization of the Right to Development (RTD), domestically (in each African country), regionally (and possibly sub-regionally). It is the argument of this paper that although, the African human rights-system, particularly the African Charter of Human and People’s Rights was the first enforceable document to contain the right to development, thereby making the African continent to be the first in conceiving it, yet one of the major reasons why development has eluded African over a considerable period of time until now is abysmal failure of the Rule of Law.


open access journal


Rule of Law, Right to Development, Developing Countries, Sustainable Development, Africa


Akintoye, S. and Joshua, A. (2019) Evaluation of the Rule of Law as a Pre-requisite to the Right to Development in Africa. Denning Law Journal, 31, pp. 93-121.


Research Institute

Centre for Law, Justice and Society