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Cluster of Excellence EXC 2052 - "Africa Multiple: reconfiguring African Studies"

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Human Rights, Corporate Social Responsibility, and Interacting Markets in Africa

Human Rights, Corporate Social Responsibility, and Interacting Markets in Africa

Research Team

  • Prof. Dr. Jörg Gundel, Public Law, Public International Law and European Union Law, University of Bayreuth
  • Prof. Dr. Bernd Kannowski, Private Law, Human Rights Law and Legal History, University of Bayreuth
  • Dr. Franz Kogelmann, Islamic Studies, University of Bayreuth
  • Dr. Juliana Masabo, Labour and Migration Law, Human Rights Law, High Court of Tanzania, Dar es Salaam
  • Dr. Cecilia Ngaiza, Doctoral Candidate in Law, University of Bayreuth
  • N.N., Doctoral Candidate in Law, University of Bayreuth
  • Prof. Richard Frimpong Oppong, Private International Law, Regional Economic Integration and International Dispute Settlement with a Special Focus on Africa, Thompson Rivers University, British Columbia, Canada
  • Dr. Robert Omondi Owino, Environmental Law, Climate Change Law and Renewable Energy Law, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Nairobi
  • Dr. Daniel Shayo, Company Law, Corporate Governance, Corporate Social Responsibility and Competition Law, University of Dar es Salaam
  • Prof. Dr. Ulrike Wanitzek, Private Law, Comparative Law and Sociology of Law, Law in Africa, University of Bayreuth

Student Assistants


Our project will deal with human rights (HR) and responsibility of businesses in the context of African regional economic communities. We aim at reconfiguring African studies regarding the perception of social responsibility of state and non-state actors under circumstances of multiple relations and affiliations.

As to HR, our focus is on collective HR, which can be seen as representing a specifically African dimension of HR and which are, because of their community-based nature, of particular relevance for our RS’s overarching theme (affiliations). As far as responsibility of businesses is concerned, several African countries have recently enacted legislation which mandates corporate social responsibility (CSR) for certain companies or certain sectors. This practice seems to be contrary to the ‘Western’ view of CSR as a voluntary engagement. At the same time, there appears to be a recent revival of interest in attempts to hold multinational corporations legally accountable for wrongs committed in African host states; this has resulted in recent cases decided in the United Kingdom and in Canada.

This intersection of HR and responsibility of businesses raises important questions that will be explored in this project. One of the specific areas in which these questions will be dealt with is environment, renewable energy and climate change in interacting regional markets. These are subjects that have not received significant academic attention in the scholarship on African regional economic communities, which has been dominated by trade and market integration research.

In all these cases, we will analyse especially the impact of the multi-layered relations among and between state and non-state actors influenced by the legal frameworks of over-lapping affiliations, such as cultural, religious, national, regional or international affiliations.

Scheduled Project Duration

1 July 2019 – 31 October 2023

Webmaster: Dr. Doris Löhr

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