Kigali Declaration and Plan of Action on the Framework for Development in Africa: What Role for National Human Rights Institutions?

Author Carol Chi Ngang

ISSN: 2522-3062
Affiliations: Postdoctoral Researcher, Free State Centre for Human Rights, University of the Free State.
Source: Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa, The, Volume 51 Issue 2, p. 253 – 278


In this article I do a critical analysis of the Kigali Declaration and Plan of Action, which highlights the role of National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) in adopting a human rights-based approach for the realisation of the 2030 global agenda for sustainable development and the 2063 African agenda for development. In November 2017, the Network of African National Human Rights Institutions (NANHRI) convened in the Rwandan capital city of Kigali for its 11th Biennial Conference on Human Rights-Based Approaches in Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Agenda 2063. The conference had as overall objective to determine how NHRIs could contribute to the realisation of the human rights components contained in framework instruments for development. While the 2030 agenda consists of seventeen goals adopted by the UN General Assembly as the global framework for development intended to be achieved within a timeframe of fifteen years, the 2063 agenda was adopted by the African Union as a continental strategic framework consisting of seven aspirations designed to achieve structural transformation in Africa over a period of fifty years. Because both agendas are in many ways interconnected in their ultimate purpose to make living conditions better for the African peoples, the Kigali Conference anchored on the consideration that implementing the development agendas entails pursuing a human rights-based approach with NHRIs playing a central role. Acknowledging that a rights-based approach to development is needed to effectively redress Africa’s development setbacks; the question is whether NHRIs can effectively achieve this purpose through the human rights-based approach.