My name is Abiodun Baiyewu-Teru. I am the country Director, Global Rights, Nigeria, and co-chairperson of the ACCA Steering Committee.
It is a great honour for me to have been elected by the Steering Committee members to represent not only the Steering Committee, but also the general ACCA membership.
The overarching theme of the ACCA Action Plan is Community Rights. In view of this, through my work stream, we will primarily be focusing on issues of Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC). The reason for zeroing in on FPIC is quite simple: it is one of the most widely and deeply felt issues confronting business host communities across Africa, and lays the foundation for the protection of many other rights. Work is currently underway to construct a framework for this project and we hope to produce a sound document that will attract the participation of ACCA members working on FPIC, represent a continental view on the issue, and seek to find African solutions to African problems.
We firmly affirm that host community participation in the governance of issues related to business and human rights is essential, because more often than not, they bear the brunt of the worst effects of businesses and suffer the violation of their rights. Consequently, it is vital that these communities are heard and that their voices are reflected in policy both at national and regional levels.
ACCA presents a veritable opportunity for CSOs and business host communities across Africa to present a united front; a platform to take on issues of business and human rights like we have never done before. This is the dawn of great things for business and human rights in Africa. But we cannot go it alone, there is a role and a platform for you at ACCA. So stay the course of this journey with us and anticipate exciting developments within the ACCA.