Support to Evidence-Based Human Rights Education Through Cooperation on Research and Inter-Sectoral Dialogue 

The Academic Network is comprised of academic institutions across the continent brought together under the Regional Africa Programme to generate research and resources, build capacity, and develop spaces for inter-sectoral dialogue in collaboration with implementing partners and regional and sub-regional Courts, the African Union (AU), and Regional Economic Communities (RECs).  

RWI plays a coordinating role, supporting network activities and building synergies between the network and other partners within the Programme as well as with other RWI offices with academic cooperation programmes. 

The goal of the Academic Network’s is to facilitate the development and dissemination of evidence based, collaborative and/or policy-oriented research; capacity building; inter-sectoral platform and spaces; resources and tools for the advancement of access to justice and implementation of human rights commitments, including gender equality, in Africa.

Strategic objectives 

Research and Dissemination

Promote and disseminate evidence-based, collaborative and/or policy-oriented research, scholarship and education able to contribute towards the improvement of access to justice and implementation of human rights commitments in Africa.

Capacity Building

Enhanced capacity of the academic network, partners and stakeholders to advance access to justice and the implementation of human rights commitments, including gender equality.

Academic Resource and Tools development

Facilitate the development of evidence based, policy oriented and/or academic tools for the advancement of access to justice and implementation of human rights commitments, including gender equality.

Inter-Sectoral Spaces and Platforms

Convene, promote and/or further develop academic based inter-sectoral platforms and spaces for collaboration and cooperation towards the advancement and generation of knowledge and capacity building in access to justice, including implementation and enforcement of human rights commitments in Africa

Membership 

The following universities are the current members of the academic network  

  1. School of Law, Kenyatta University; 
  1. Faculty of Law, University of Nigeria;  
  1. Faculty of Law and Political Science, Tunis El Manar University;  
  1. Faculty of Law, University of Zimbabwe;  
  1. Gender Health and Justice Research Unit, University of Cape Town; 
  1. College of Business Peace Leadership and Governance, Africa University; and  
  1. Department of Public Law, University of Stellenbosch 

 Key milestones of the academic network  

  • Advocacy through regional and national policies, legislations and laws to further access to justice and implementation of human rights commitments in Africa: One public lecture organized on the theme “Securing Human Rights Commitments through Regional Courts” with highlights on the policies and decisions of the regional court. The lecture contributed to an enhanced understanding on the role of the academia in improving implementation of human rights commitments and how to secure human rights commitments through regional courts. 

  • Support to regular and structured human rights interactions and meetings between targeted organisations and institutions: workshop held for teachers of gender and the law, hosted at RWI Offices in Lund in collaboration with the Europe and Zimbabwe Programmes in which teachers shared experiences on various aspects of gender inclusion within higher education institutions including in curriculum development and research projects. The Network partners also undertook a successful visit to Cambodia where they met several academic institutions under the Cambodia Programme as an experience sharing exercise on best practices for academic cooperation. Members of the academic network have developed a strategy to streamline its contribution to the successful implementation of the Regional Africa Programme.

  • Support to research on implementation of human rights commitments in Africa: the academic network institutions invite research proposal on the “Implementation of International and Regional Human Rights Standards in Africa: Challenges and Opportunities”. The development of the publication, is to foster better understanding of the challenges and opportunities for implementation of international and regional human rights standards in Africa