What Obligations Should Be Owed to [African] People with Disabilities?

Main Article Content

Oche Onazi


African philosophy, obligations, disabilities


Although obligations are central to African communitarian philosophy, little is known about how they account for people with disabilities and even less about their practical application. An asymmetrical conception of obligation is proposed to remedy the exclusion, and tax as a means to practically discharge obligations to people with disabilities.


Abstract 41 | WORD Downloads 20 PDF Downloads 27


African Union (2019). Protocol to the African charter on human and peoples’ rights on the rights of persons with disabilities.
Barrett, J. (2012). Democratic discourse, taxation and hypothecation. Journal of Australian Taxation, 89(14), 89–117.
Bell, R. (2002). Understanding African philosophy: A cross-cultural approach to classic and contemporary issues. Routledge.
Bertea, S. (2019). A theory of legal obligation. Cambridge University Press.
Bhe and Others v. Magistrate, Khayelista, and Others. 2005 (1) BCLR 1 (CC) and 2004 (1) BCLR 27 (C).
Brady, V. (1980). The duty to rescue in tort law: Implications of research on altruism. Indiana Law Journal, 55(3), 551–561.
Buchanan, J. (1963). The economics of earmarked taxes. Journal of Political Economy, 71(5), 457–469.
Cornell, D. (2014). Law and revolution in South Africa: Ubuntu, dignity, and the struggle for constitutional transformation. Fordham University Press.
Eide, A., & Ingstad, B. (2013). Disability and poverty—reflections on research experiences in Africa and beyond. African Journal of Disability, 2(1), 31.
Famakinwa, J. (2010). How moderate is Kwame Gyekye’s moderate communitarianism? Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya, 2(2), 65–77.
Gilbert, M. (2006). A theory of political obligation: membership, commitment and bounds of society. Oxford University Press.
Grut, L., Olenja, J., & Ingstad, B. (2012). Disability and barriers in Kenya. In A. Eide & B. Ingstad (Eds.), Disability and poverty: a global challenge (pp. 153–170). Bristol University Press.
Gyekye, K. (2010). African ethics. Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy. https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/african-ethics/ Accessed on 29/ 10/ 2021.
Gyekye, K. (1997). Tradition and modernity: Philosophical reflections on the African person. Oxford University Press.
Hallen, B., & Sodipo, J. (1997). Knowledge, belief and witchcraft: Analytic experiments in African philosophy. Stanford University Press.
Halliday, D. (2015). Egalitarianism and consumption tax. In H. P. Gaisbauer, G. Schweiger, & C. Sedmak (Eds.), Philosophical explorations of justice and taxation (pp. 119–133). Springer.
Himma, K. (2013). The ties that bind: An analysis of the concept of obligation. Ratio Juris, 26(1), 16–46.
Hohfeld, W. (1913). Some fundamental legal conceptions as applied in judicial reasoning. The Yale Law Journal, 23(1), 16–59.
Hountondji, P. (1970). Comments on contemporary African philosophy. Diogenes 71,120–140.
Honore, T. (1993). The dependence of morality on law. Oxford Journal of Legal Studies. 13(1), 1–17.
Janz, B. (2007). African philosophy. In C. Boundas (Ed.), The Edinburgh companion to 20th century philosophies (pp. 689–701). University of Edinburgh Press.
Lichtenberg, J. (2010). Negative duties, positive duties and the new harms. Ethics, 120(3), 557–578.
Masolo, D. (2010). Self and community in a changing world. Indiana University Press.
Matolino, B., & Kwindingwi, W. (2010). The end of Ubuntu. South African Journal of Philosophy, 32(2), 197–205.
Maybee, J. (2017). Em “body” ment and disability: On taking the “body” out of em “body” ment. Journal of Social Philosophy, 48(3), 297–320.
Menkiti, I. (1984). Person and community in African traditional thought. In: R. Wright (Ed.) African philosophy: An introduction. (pp.171-181). University Press of America.
Metz, T. (2014a). African values, group rights and the Banjul Charter. In O. Onazi (Ed.) African legal theory and contemporary problems: critical essays. (pp. 131-151). Springer.
Metz, T. (2014b). African values and human rights as two sides of the same coin: A reply to Oyowe. African Human Rights Law Journal, 14, 306–321.
Metz, T. (2015). An African egalitarianism: Bringing community to bear on equality. In G. Hull (Ed.), The equal society: Essays on equality in theory and practice (pp. 185–208). Rowman and Littlefield.
Metz, T. (2020). Recent work in African philosophy: Its relevance beyond the continent. Mind, 130(518), 639–660.
Metz, T., & Gaie, J. (2010). The African ethic of Ubuntu/Botho: Implications for research on morality. Journal of Moral Education, 39(3), 273–290.
Molefe, M. (2019). An African philosophy of personhood, morality and politics. Palgrave Macmillan.
Nussbaum, M. (2006). Frontiers of justice: Disability, nationality and species membership. Harvard University Press.
Oliver, M. (2013) The social model of disability: thirty years on. Disability & Society, 28(7):1024–1026
Onazi, O. (2020) An African path to disability justice: Community, relationships and obligations. Springer.
O’ Neill, O. (2000). Bounds of justice. Cambridge University Press.
Oruka, O. (Ed.). (1990). Sage philosophy: Indigenous thinkers and the modern debate on African philosophy. E. J. Brill.
Rawls, J. (1971). A theory of justice. Harvard University Press
Saffie, F. (2014). Taxes as practices of mutual recognition: Towards a general theory of tax law. [Unpublished doctoral thesis]. University of Edinburgh.
Sanders, M. (2007). Ambiguities of witnessing: Law and literature in the time of a truth commission. Stanford University Press.
Shakespeare, T. (2013). Disability rights and wrongs revisited. Routledge.
Shuttleworth, R., & Kasnitz, D. (2006). Cultural context of disability. In G. Albrecht (Ed.), Encyclopedia of disability (pp. 330–337). Sage Publications.
Simone, A. (2001). Straddling the divides: Remaking associational life in the informal African city. International Journal for Urban and Regional Research, 25(1), 103.
Simone, A. (2004). For the city yet to come: Changing life in four African cities. Duke University Press.
Soldatic, K., & Grech, S. (2014). Transnationalising disability studies: Rights, justice and impairment. Disability Studies Quarterly, 34(2).
Stuit, H. (2016). Ubuntu strategies: Constructing spaces of belonging in contemporary South African culture. Palgrave Macmillan.
Tangwa, G. (2000). The traditional African perception of a person: Some implications for bioethics. Hastings Center Report, 30(5), 39–43.
Tutu, D. (1999). No future without forgiveness: a personal overview of South Africa’s truth and reconciliation commission. Random House.
United Nations. (2006). United Nations convention on the rights of persons with disabilities.
Van der Walt, J. (2018). The origin of obligations: Towards a fundamental phenomenology of legal and moral obligation. In D. Matthews & S. Veitch (Eds.), Law, obligation and community (pp. 54–70). Routledge.
Veitch, S. (2017). The sense of obligation. Jurisprudence, 8(3), 415–434.
Veitch, S. (2021). Obligations: New trajectories in law. Routledge.
Weil, S. (2002). The need for roots (W. Arthur, Trans.). Routledge.
Whiteley, H. (1952). On duties. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 53, 95–104.
World Health Organization and World Bank. (2011). World report on disability. World Health Organization.