Nana K.A Busia, Jr.

Contact details

Nana K.A Busia, Jr.
BA(hons) LLB(int) LLM, Mphil, LLDip
Position/Fellowship type:
Visiting Fellow, International law.
Fellowship term:
01-Jan-2018 to 31-Jan-2025
Institute of Commonwealth Studies
Home institution:
Institute of Common wealth Studies
Email address:

Research Summary and Profile

Research interests:
Human rights, International Law
Summary of research interests and expertise:

 I have educational back ground and formal qualification in political science, general law, international politics, international humanitarian law and international law. I am also member of the Inner Temple of Inns of Court of England and Wales.
My legal background and also training in the discipline of politics has equipped me with a strong inter-disciplinary framework in appreciating human rights issues that one encounters in academic research and professional practice. My research interest has therefore been understanding the interface between global political economy and international law, in particular, international human rights law and how this relationship can explain human rights protection or violation by states in developing countries. In that regard, I have been interested in carrying out critical examination of the political economy of human rights violations in developing countries, especially Africa, and stipulations of international law.
I have been working on the development strategies that developing countries embark upon or are made to embark upon and their and implications. How these development strategies affects the human rights options of states in spite of the obligations undertaken under international law has also been area of study and interest . Legal and policy issues related to the protection of economic, social and cultural rights (ESCR) by states at the national level and the impact of the global system is also studied. I have in recent years developed strong interest in how states and non sate actors contribute , individually or jointly , to the violation of ESCR; and if there is any basis in international law for holding them accountable for the violations. Related to this I have been interrogating the legal obligation of international organizations in the protection of ESCR.

Project summary relevant to Fellowship:

 My research project is to attempt to make the case that there is a joint obligation of states and international financial institutions (IMF and World Bank) for the protection of Economic, Social and Cultural rights , ESCR under international law.
The brief back drop to this inquiry is that international human rights law as currently formulated ( in traditional international law), it is only the state that has obligation , at different levels, to protect human rights and by the same principle , it is the same state that takes responsibility for violations that ensue within its jurisdiction. I seek to argue further that properly examined there is a basis in international law for assigning joint obligation of states and the international financial institutions for the protection of ESCR and responsibility for violations of ESCR during the execution of structural adjustment programme (SAP).
Essentially, I seek to present a legal framework of what joint obligation entails by pointing out the gaps that exists in the de jure view of state obligation and de facto situations. I intend to argue further how joint obligation concept bridges this gap. I shall be relying on principles of international law in making this case of joint horizontal obligation.
The findings of this study will be published in a reputable scientific journal with acknowledgement to the institute. I intend also to bring my experience in academic research and professional experience and practice in international organizations to bear on the Masters programme of the institute. Over the past 15 or so years I have built a network of individual scholars, activists, practitioners , and research institutions, especially in Africa, and during the period of fellowship I will encourage a scientific encounter between academic staff of the ICWS and the said African intellectuals and institutions. This will bring about mutual benefit.

Publication Details

Related publications/articles:

Date Details
02-Sep-2013 Non State Actors and Human Rights Violations; The New frontier of Human Rights Discourse and Struggle in Contemporary World- The Role of the African Human Rights System


 The artcilce takes as its point of departure that there are human violations committed by non state actors such as transnatioanl corporations and international financial institutions. Then I examine internatioanl human rights law  to ascertain if there basis for holding teh said non state actors acccountable.

After exmaing the UN ssytem and other regional regimes, I conclude that the African regional human righst system do have adequate legak basis which could be relied upon for the holding non state actors responsible for violations.

06-Oct-2003 Emerging Discourse on NEPAD- Is Africa in Search of A new Paradigm or Is still old Wine in New Bottles

Edited Book

 The artciles examines all arguemnsts for the introduction of NEPAD and makes the conclsuion that it does not seem to introduce any new development paradigm but still the old neo-liberal approaches with new name. it more of a review of the extant literature of the subject then.

02-Sep-2003 Ghana; Competing Visions of Liberal Democracy and Socialism 1982-1992

Edited Book

 The article eamines the different regime typologies and their human rights practcies since political independence in 1957.

It also attempts to analsyse why the different regimes had different approach toi human rights both in terms of law and practice.

09-Sep-1999 Ghana: ( 1962 -1992) Une Si Longue Transition

Edited Book

 This article examines the transition from authoritarianism to demoicracy in Ghana and attempts to exmaine the reasons for the transition and the constitution that was promulgated as a result. It inquires if local or international factors, especially donor factors were responsible for the transition.

12-Aug-1996 Towards A Framework for the Filing of Communication ( complaints) on Violations of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights under the African Charter on Human and People's Rights



The article after examing the UN and other regional instruments on huamn rights concludes bodly that under the African regional ssyetm there is a basis in law for a complanit to filed on violation of economic and social rights and gors on to propose a legal and practcial frame work for doing that.

08-Apr-1996 Towards A Lgal Framework for the Protection of Academic Freedom in Africa

Edited Book

 The article begins with identification of the violation of academic freedom in Africa by states and goes on to scrutinze from the African regional human rights regime if there are any basis or provisions for the proetction of academic freedom. It concludes by arguing that there is and propses the teh legal strategy for academics.

12-Mar-1996 Ogoni Peoples Rights and the Shell Crisis of Nigeria: An exploratory Analysis


 The article explores the responsibility of both the Nigerian state and Shell company as an non state actor for the violation of human rights in the Niger Delta. 

15-Apr-1991 The Status of Human Rights in Pre-Colonial Africa: Implications for Contemporary Practices:


 The Chapter makes the case that the concept of human rights was known in pre-colonial Africa but the practices depended upon severl factorsa and variables in a given society. Typologies of pre-colonila societies are created to explain how  each typology practcied human rights ,looking at the laws, political power distribution, level of economic development and other variables.

21-Jan-1991 The Impact of Developments in Eastern Europe on Democratization Process in Africa: an Exploratory Analysis


 The chapter exmaines the then developments in Eastern Europe after the fall of Berlin Wall on the democratization processes in Africa. It argues that the Fallof Berlin Wall was going to augur well for democracy in Africa as it were.

14-May-1989 The Political Economy of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights


 The article argues that the approriate methodology of understading the provisons of the Charter is to appreciate the peripheral stautus of African within the global political economy and it goe son to examine key articles to sustain the thesis.

Relevant Events

Related events:

Date Details
20-Nov-2014 Conference on joint Horizontal Obligation of States and International Financial institutions

 The objective of the conference is to bring together notable African and Africanist scholars, both social sceintist and international human rights legal scholars and experts to discuss the de facto violations by IFIS as often argued by social scientist and the de jure violations as presented by human rights scholars. It is envisaged that the conferecne will be to ascertain the interface between teh two approaches. The findings will be edited and publsihed.  

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