IRRC No. 269

African States and the promotion of humanitarian principles

Reading time 5 min read
Download PDF

It is well known that African societies are shaped by custom and tradition. African thought, deeply imbued with humanism, has given birth to concepts and practices that place these societies among the world's humanitarian civilizations. With the advent of the colonial era and the establishment of institutions based on foreign values, the manifestations of African ideas was put into abeyance. Subsequent independence, while giving African States the opportunity to participate alongside other nations in constructing a universal civilization, paradoxically brought the continent face to face with a dilemma in regard to economic, political, social and cultural matters: the choice between the wholesale adoption of foreign, particularly European, models, or a radical return to ancestral traditions. However, humanitarian concerns are among the few that can—and should—transcend such Manichean considerations.

Continue reading #IRRC No. 269