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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Colonialism and private law in Africa
Author:Ki-Zerbo, FrançoiseISNI
Periodical:African Environment: Environmental Studies and Regional Planning Bulletin
Geographic terms:French-speaking Africa
West Africa
Subject:private law
Abstract:The modernization of law in francophone West Africa has often been synonymous with codification. This codification has most commonly consisted of taking on, to a greater or lesser extent, the legal principles of France, the former colonizing country. However, imitation has its 'natural' limits and, particularly as regards private family law, African legislators have been led to recognize and regulate certain African institutions, such as the dowry and polygamy, and have, in certain cases, been very innovative. Yet the real impact of new private law legislation in francophone West Africa remains to be determined. So far the majority of African legal codes concern only a minute fraction of the population. The author argues that when drafting African legislation, the spirit of traditional rules should be taken into account and the primacy of certain values, such as the notion of the family as a pillar of society and the constant quest for consensus, so far ignored by African legislators, should be reestablished. Bibliogr.