REARTICULATING UBUNTU AS A VIABLE FRAMEWORK FOR THE REALISATION OF LEGAL CAPACITY IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA
Keywords:UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, CRPD, ubuntu, legal capacity, sub-Saharan Africa, African personhood philosophy, inclusive society, solidarity, local strategy, disability rights, Africa, scholarship, Eastern and Southern Africa, rights-based approach to disability
As a right, legal capacity is central to the realisation of an ‘equal status’ for all persons with disabilities. Its attainment is fundamental to the aspirations of the UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Unfortunately, indicators
over the past years reveal that realisation of legal capacity has not been straightforward. Furthermore, depending on one’s perspective, the CRPD itself does not offer much in terms of specificity on tangible implementation strategies; instead,
it leaves wide room for flexibility of realisation approaches. This chapter posits that rearticulating the traditional African concept of ubuntu holds real potential for local acceptance and recognition of legal capacity in favour persons with disabilities in sub-Saharan Africa. Admittedly, and although conceptually contentious in itself as an African personhood philosophy, this chapter argues that there is space for legal capacity to prosper within a rearticulated framework of ubuntu. Its resonance with an inclusive society, community of solidarity and support implies its potential as a real local strategy, not only for legal capacity, but equally for all other disability rights.