That human rights are new, alien, and incompatible with African
social and political reality is pervasive in much of African social
and political thinking. This supposition is based on the assumption that
African societies are inherently communitarian, and hence inconsiderate
to the guaranteeing and safeguarding of individual human rights.
However, I seek to dispel this essentialist notion in African social and
political thinking. I consider how the human rights discourse could be
reasonably understood in the African traditional context if the thinking
that is salient in the African communitarian view of existence is properly
understood. After considering the way in which human rights are
guaranteed within an African communitarian framework, I give reasons
why the quest for individualistic human rights in Afro-communitarian
society could be considered to be an oxymoron. Overall, I seek to establish
that an Afro-communitarian model is compatible with the quest for
the universality of human rights.