Human Rights and Self- Reliance in Africa
Mark O. C. Anikpo
Since the early 1960s. various aspects of human rights as they relate to national and regional development have been on the United Nations (UN) agenda. It was not until 1982, however, that the UN General Assembly declared emphatically that the right to development is "an inalienable human right."1 This declaration is understandably premised on the notions of respect for human dignity and social justice. By implication, the UN declaration on human rights and development presupposes that it is the primary responsibility of any human group to solve the problems of their society using their own resources, intelligence, decisions, and capabilities, with or without outside help.
It is also noteworthy that the persistence of the development debate on the UN human rights agenda is consequent on reports monitored by the UN Commission on Human Rights from African and other Third World Nations who are becoming more persistent in their demand for justice in their relationships with the industrialized nations of Europe and North America. For Africa, in particular, centuries of devastating association with the rest of the world have led to the necessity for an alternative development strategy in dealing with the multiple problems of the Continent.