The Eighteenth Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the Organization of African Unity, meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, June 24-27, 1981, made an historic step toward the protection of human rights in Africa when it passed the Banjul Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on to the member states of the O.A.U. to commence the ratification process of that document. The Charter represents the culmination of a two year drafting process.
From November 28 to December 8, 1979, a gathering of African experts met in Dakar, Senegal to prepare the first draft of the proposed African Charter. The stated objective of the experts was to prepare an African human rights instrument based upon an African legal philosophy and responsive to African needs.