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Graduation Class

democracy all over the Africa continent, and even further afield. In 2006, the Centre was awarded the UNESCO Prize for Human Rights Education, with particular recognition for the African Human Rights Moot Court Competition and the LLM/MPhil in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa. On the occasion of marking 25 years of its existence in 2012, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ rights awarded its Human Rights Prize for civil society oranisations to the Centre. About the Master’s Programme in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa Established in 2000, the Master’s Programme in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa (HRDA) aims to develop capacity in the form of experts in the field of human rights and democratisation in order to strengthen national and regional structures that deal with human rights and democracy. It is a regional cooperation initiative involving 13 leading African universities representing all the main geographic subregions, languages and legal traditions in Africa. Candidates are taught by eminent lecturers in the field of human rights and undergo many practical training exercises. It is the only course of its kind in Africa. Graduates become members of the HRDA Alumni Association whose 590 members are currently active in the full spectrum of human rights work:

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Municipal Focus

Established in 2000, the Master’s Programme in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa (HRDA) aims to develop capacity in the form of experts in the field of human rights and democratisation in order to strengthen national and regional structures that deal with human rights and democracy. from grassroots, through civil service, to international organisations including the African Union and the United Nations. The story of the HRDA programme started in the year 2000. By then, the Centre had over 15 years established itself as a human rights hub, with a South African-focused Master’s programme on human rights, and a growing African footprint gained by organising the African Human Rights Moot Court Competition together with law schools across the continent. With the adoption of its Constitutive Act in the same year, the African Union (AU) started to reshape a

more human rights-responsive regional governance landscape. The time was ripe for the Centre to introduce a postgraduate academic programme focusing on human rights within Africa, generally, and the AU, specifically. Together with its founding partners, the Centre designed and implemented the HRDA to nurture and mould a core group of committed change agents eager and able to more firmly anchor the principles of human rights adherence and democratic governance on African soil. Since then, for 21 years, the HRDA has run annually, without interruption. The Centre’s network has grown into 12 collaborating partners, stretching from the western-most part of the continent (Université Gaston Berger in Senegal) to the far east (University of Mauritius), and from the southern tip (University of the Western Cape) to the Horn of Africa (Addis Ababa University). Wonderful colleagues – programme managers, assistants, teachers, tutors – have come and gone; and some have stayed much longer than expected. They were consistently supported by the full Centre for Human Rights team. Since the year 2000, a total of 590 candidates from 46 countries (38 of them in Africa) survived the rigours of the programme, and proudly graduated. If, by its proverbial fruits a tree is appraised, the alumni of 21 years allow the Centre, its partners, collaborators and supporters

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Municipal Focus Magazine - Volume 51  

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