Bioethics and Its Development on the African Continent

  • Nico NortjéEmail author
  • Joseph Mfutso-Bengo
  • Willem A. Hoffmann
Part of the Advancing Global Bioethics book series (AGBIO, volume 13)


What makes a good person good? Can a wrong action be a good action and consequently can a right action be a bad action? These are questions which have plagued philosophers and wise persons of antiquity and is still relevant all over the world, including Africa. The aim of this chapter is to position African ethics within the framework of Global Bioethics and initiate the conversation that although ethics in Africa is often still practiced from a Western paradigm, African ethics have developed significantly in the post-colonial era to inform healthcare delivery on the continent. Whilst the chapter will not focus on the development of historical ethical theories, it will take a critical look at Western contributions to the modern-day discipline and how this has influenced ethics on the continent of Africa. This chapter will attempt to sketch the development and influence of ethics in Africa and what the future looks like for the discipline in Africa.


Bioethics Indigenous ethics African bioethics Africa 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nico Nortjé
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Joseph Mfutso-Bengo
    • 3
  • Willem A. Hoffmann
    • 4
  1. 1.University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer CenterHoustonUSA
  2. 2.The University of the Free StateBloemfonteinSouth Africa
  3. 3.Center of Bioethics for Eastern and Southern Africa (CEBESA), School of Public Health and Family Medicine, College of MedicineUniversity of MalawiBlantyreMalawi
  4. 4.Tshwane University of TechnologyPretoriaSouth Africa

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