Ballot or bullet? Time for African youths to make a choicePosted: 17 October, 2022 Filed under: Murithi Antony | Tags: abstain from voting, bad leadership, contemporary African societies, corruption, democratic governance, economic development, good education, human rights, Peaceful elections, physiological well-being, post-election violence, power to refuse, protection, violence 8 Comments
Author: Murithi Antony
LL.B student, University of Embu
“I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and curse; therefore, you shall choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants…”
– The Holy Bible, Deuteronomy 30:19 (Amplified Version)
The message in the Book of Deuteronomy generally is directed to the new generation that was born in the desert during the 40 years of wandering in which the generation of exodus passed away. The Book puts forward foundational truths, which if the young generation shall abide by, they will succeed. It states that there is life and death, and advises them to choose life, but leaves the option to their discretion. This can to a large extent be equated with the happenings of contemporary African societies whereby the current youth generation, which was born in the desert of problems, neo-colonialism, tribalism, corruption and violence have an opportunity to change the status quo through voting and advocating for peace. Similar to how the Israelites were given choices, the current generation also has a choice to either vote and take charge of their future; or abstain from voting, and choose political, social and economic death. I tell them: “Choose to vote, in order that you may take charge of your destiny, and your generation shall find a better place to live in.”
The right to happiness in AfricaPosted: 13 July, 2016 Filed under: Saul Leal | Tags: Africa, apartheid, Christopher Mbazira, colonialism, constitution, David Bilchitz, economic development, Egypt, employment, Frederick Fourie, freedom, Ghana, Justice Albie Sachs, Leopold Sadar Senghor, Liberia, liberty, Namibia, Nigeria, racism, right to happiness, right to life, safety, security, South Africa, Steve Biko, Stu Woolan, Swaziland 3 Comments
Author: Saul Leal
Vice-Chancellor Postdoctoral Fellow, Institute for International and Comparative Law in Africa (ICLA)
Leopold Sedar Senghor said: emotion is African. This emotion has been channeled to constitutions. Happiness is a core value in many African constitutions. It was explicitly mentioned in Liberia, Namibia, Ghana, Nigeria, Swaziland, and Egypt.
Article 1 of the Constitution of Liberia, 1986, proclaims that all free governments are instituted by the people’s authority, for their benefit, and they have the right to alter and reform it when their safety and ‘happiness’ require it. The preamble of the Egyptian Constitution, 2014, cites ‘a place of common happiness for its people’. The Namibian Constitution, 1990, assures the right ‘to the pursuit of happiness’. In this regard, Frederick Fourie defends the preamble of the Namibian Constitution, explaining that it is coloured by the struggle against colonialism and racism; that it is built around the denial of the ‘right of the individual life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’ by colonialism, racism and apartheid.