By; Rachel Najjuma
30th October 2019
President Yoweri Museveni has challenged the Convention of African Judiciaries on Human Rights to treat issues of human rights violations as secondary to more pressing African challenges.
Museveni said Africa is grappling with two fundamental challenges related to the growth of economies, oppression of mankind by nature and the oppression of mankind by fellow man.
He said that nature is oppressing mankind in terms of floods, droughts, earthquakes and diseases. According to Museveni, these issues should be at the heart of man’s priorities as opposed to Human Rights Violations manifested through colonialism, dictatorship, slave trade and other forms of violations.
Museveni argued that human rights violations should be addressed under proper contexts which consider the fact that Africa missed the opportunity for growth in three past industrial revolutions. He was speaking at the opening of the fourth African Judicial dialogue on the Roles of Judiciary in tackling contemporary human rights issues in Africa at the Commonwealth Resort Munyonyo.
He said the primary goal of African judiciaries should be in facilitating economic growth for job creation, integration, infrastructure and promotion and the protection of civic and economic rights to food, education, jobs and health.
Ambassador Thomas Kwesi Quartey, the Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission said that as African judiciaries implement Agenda 2063 for creating the Africa we want, there is strong need to recognize the challenges faced by the continent.
Justice Sylvain Ore, the President of the African Court on Human and People’s Rights applauded the Ugandan parliament for leading the way in the promotion and protection of human rights through various legal instruments including the Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilations Act, Anti Money Laundering, Domestic Violence Act and the Equal Opportunities Commission Act. among others.
The three-day high-level summit brings together Presidents of Supreme Courts of Africa, Chief Justices, Principal Judges and Constitutional and Supreme Court judges as well as members of Parliaments, government ministers and the diplomatic corps from the European and American Courts for human rights.
At the end of the meeting, an action plan for addressing some of the above issues will be adopted for implementation in the 33 member states that have ratified the protocol which established the African Court on Human and People’s Rights.