Human Rights in Africa

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The last decades of the 20th century witnessed a massive wave of human rights activities, which was positively received by both the general public and the ruling elites of several societies. Many African governments recognized the human rights groups, although the latter were often placed under tight security surveillance, or incorporated into government-controlled structures at the expense of their original or autonomous roles. In political terms, this ghosting process comprises the usurpation of the modern democratic government and civil society by authoritative exclusionary policies. As occurred in many cases, the ghosting policies preempt the democratic context of popular activities by replacing them with state’s agenda to maintain only the authoritative structure and the security functioning of the state. This subservient relationship is clearly evident in the replacement of democratic regimes by military coup in the Sudan, as well as in most African nations, since independence to the present time. The hands of colonialism – and now globalization – are clearly reflected in human rights issues in Africa: governments known for inefficient, rude, and chaotic bureaucratic structures; selfish leaders who stir ethnic and religious conflict for personal gain; rapid, undirected urbanization; the exodus of intellectuals and experts; poor educational and health care systems; avaricious multinational corporations that control capital and technology pivotal to development; and staggering external debt. This book addresses the issues of human rights in Africa and confronts these challenges.


“Rather than offering the reader a fatalistic and pessimistic methodology or call to action, Dr. Mahmoud offers the reader a very optimistic, insightful, and intellectual understanding of the past and present geo-politics of Africa, especially as related to the country of Sudan ... This native son of Mother Africa brings all of the necessary academic sociological tools to the table ... This book is a must read because it reminds us of former voices such as Achebe, Nkrumah, Selasse, Fanon, Cabral, Kaunda, Nyerere, Senghor, Mandela, Kenyatta, Lumumba, Malcolm X, Garvey, the children of Soweto, DuBois and others, who cried out and struggled to solve the problems of Africa from a contextual and Afro-centric perspective ...” – (From the Commendatory Preface) Robert C. Butler, Associate Professor of African-American Studies, Western Kentucky University and Austin Peay State University

“This book is an extraordinary scholarly piece that increasingly informs the reader of contemporary social issues and problems in many of the countries on the Continent of Africa. Implementing both an interdisciplinary approach and a holistic analysis the text is inclusive of Africa in the 1990’s that critically assesses early European domination (slavery) as it evolved into colonialism, and imperialism to the extent that social structures within the various African countries were negatively impacted economically, socially, culturally, and politically to cause current policy to not serve citizens with appropriate legal, civil, and human rights ... An essential text for every learned person in general, and specifically across the academic curriculum in areas such as International Studies, Sociology, Women Studies, Africana Studies, Psychology, Economics, Business, Government, and Global Studies. Further use could be on the international leadership level of the power elite with the hope of making accurate policy decisions that impact our global community.” – E. Kelly Sanford, Associate Professor of Sociology, Tennessee State University

“This book is wide-ranging, including an overview of democracy and human rights in Africa in the 1990’s, the position and treatment of women in Africa, and extensive treatment of African prison systems with case studies focusing on the Gambia, Egypt, South Africa and the Sudan ... It provides a comprehensive and balanced analysis of many problems of human rights abuses in Africa, particularly focusing on several prison systems, and unusual and fruitful line of inquiry in contemporary Africa. The book’s main contribution to African studies is this focus on prison systems within the context of human rights abuses throughout the continent. In addition, its important analysis of the unequal treatment of women fits well into the existing literature on this topic.” – James Quirin, Professor of History, Fisk University

Table of Contents

Commendatory Preface by Robert C. Butler
Ghosting Penal Hoods by Authority Tools
Africa in the 1990s
Popular Movement versus Elite Government
Women and Governance
Women and Religion
Outside Human Rights and Effective Coordination
Escape Mechanisms on Reporting Human Rights Abuses

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