Sunday, April 19, 2015

Free Online Course: International Law and Africa

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Think Africa Press is launching a free online educational course entitled, 'International Law and Africa'. Bringing together leading academics, legal practitioners and United Nations special rapporteurs, the course is intended to present readers around the world with an understanding of how international law works, how it came about, how it is enforced and monitored, how it affects individuals and groups, and how it shapes the world’s social, political and economic dynamics. In particular, the course examines the impacts of international law and its institutional infrastructure on Africa.

This focus on international law and Africa is important for a number of reasons. International law and human rights have become symbols of hope and human progress, but there are many weaknesses within statutes, provisions, and enforcement mechanisms, and the creation of laws is never ahistorical or apolitical. This is especially important regarding Africa, which is often the testing ground for emerging doctrines and organs, such as the Responsibility to Protect doctrine and the International Criminal Court. Making Africa the focus of this course also goes some small way to correcting its relative lack of mention in most Western legal syllabuses.

With the rise of modern technology and communication, the spread of information is easier and wider than ever before. The issues covered by the course are rarely available but affect so many; we believe it deserves to be free. 

The course will initially consist of a series of in-depth articles that lay the basis of international law – its foundations and history, its sources and protection mechanisms, substantive rights and contemporary challenges – and how they relate to Africa.

The course will continue to grow, however, with additional material added every fortnight. Each article ends with suggestions for further reading and a list of questions to consider. Readers are invited to interact with the course by asking and answering questions, suggesting new content and sharing their thoughts about the topics raised. 

Think Africa Press welcomes inquiries regarding the republication of its articles. If you would like to republish this article, provide feedback, ask or answer questions or request new content please contact or get in touch via Twitter at @romromromTAP.


Thank you for this serious initiative. It will certainly go a long mile to help us understand the dynamics of international law in Africa. Could you let me know how to enrol for the course?Thanks in advance for your

Hi Ndi, we're delighted to hear you're interested in the course! There is no need to enrol or register for the course. All the articles will be publicly available. We have so far published the first four articles which you can see on our homepage and also down the right-hand side of this blog under "More from the International Law and Africa course". When more are published we will also create a separate page from which all the articles can be accessed. We encourage you, and other readers, to engage with the material by asking us questions, answering the 'questions to consider' listed at the bottom of each article, commenting on articles, and suggesting new content. We hope you enjoy the course.

Dear Madam, Sir,
Could you please tell me how to be registered in the course.
best regards  

Hi Fatiha, great to hear you're interested in the course. Please see the comment I left in reply to Ndi above. 

The course would be of great value to me as a business person wanting to conduct business in Africa.The aviation industry is my focus and attention, after servicing forty plus years; from engineer to airline owner in the United States of America. It has long been my desire to serve Africa in the industry I love and know best. I have a lot to offe; not only my personal experiences as an aviator, but my many contacts as well. I have heard doing business in Africa is not an easy thing to do. With  that said, your course in:  International Law and Africa, I am sure will serve me well. Thank You 

Hi Wan,How long is the entire course? does one get a certificate at the end?

Hi Evelyne, the initial part of the course will be approximately 20 articles long. But the course will be updated with a couple of articles each month, and we encourage readers like yourself to suggest what topics you think those articles should be on. There is no certificate at the end. 

Is there anyway to acknowledge those who finished the course with enomours contributions to answering questions and comments? will certificate be awarded ? . Thanks

Dear Sirs,Greetings,I desire to train with you in the above mentioned course. How may I join the training program?