The concept of nation-state was imposed on the African continent.
The African state is not the product of natural growth of the African peoples from tribal societies to nations.The colonial masters brought to Africa a nation-state that was based on legal and philosophical principles evolved elsewhere in the world.These principles became the measurements against which any nation should be tested to qualify for statehood. Accordingly, African borders were drawn.
The two conflicting principles of self-determination and territorial integrity are amongst those principles.
The former entails the right to peoples to determine their destination both politically
and economically. The latter protects countries from fragmentation. The irony is how to ensure that all peoples achieve their right to self-determination and at the same
time, national states are protected from dissolution.
Thesis (LLM (Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa)) -- University of Pretoria, 2010.
A dissertation submitted to the Faculty of Law University of Pretoria, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree Masters of Law (LLM in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa). Prepared under the supervision of Dr. Magnus Killander of the Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa. 2010.