ACCA News

Highlights from the General Assembly

The African Coalition for Corporate Accountability (ACCA) is pleased to announce the successful convening of its 8th Annual General Assembly from the 31st of August to the 1st of September 2022. The GA was convened in partnership with the Institute for Sustainable Development, at Umodzi Park in Lilongwe, Malawi.

This year’s GA was held under the theme Business, Human Rights and Climate Change: interrogating the intersection between business activities, corporate accountability and climate change in Africa.

African Coalition for Corporate Accountability is pleased to invite you to its 8th General Assembly

This year’s theme is “Business, Human Rights and Climate Change: interrogating the intersection between business activities, corporate accountability and climate change in Africa.”

Date: 31 August-1 September 2022

Location: Lilongwe, Malawi

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, in partnership with the University of Antwerp, cordially invites you to a webinar dialogue on clarifying the nature, content and importance of the right to development in Africa. The Dialogue will attempt to interrogate critical issues around Human Rights Based Approach to Development; Debt Financing, Taxation and development; IFFS and Development; Public Services and the SDG agenda; PPPs and development; Climate Change and Sustainable Development and the Draft Treaty on Right to Development among others. These will help guide formulation of strategic interventions to inform the right to development discourse in Africa and international mechanisms.

The African Coalition for Corporate Accountability (ACCA) congratulates the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS), Alternative Information and Development Centre (AIDC) and Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) on successfully convening the 4th Binding Treaty on Business and Human Rights Indaba in Johannesburg from the 27 - 28 July 2022, under the theme: ‘Towards a legally binding instrument’: Lessons learnt from the pandemic.’

During transitions to peace and democracy across various African countries, measures have been introduced to hold perpetrators accountable and provide reparations to victims. Corporate accountability and redress for corporate victims have however been a missing piece in this puzzle. This webinar will explore some of the systems and mechanisms that have been put in place or which are under development to strengthen such avenues of accountability and redress, ranging from the international and regional to the local. What have they delivered and what hope do they hold for justice?

The African Coalition for Corporate Accountability (ACCA) and the Centre for Human Rights (CHR) congratulate the convenors of the Alternative Mining Indaba (AMI) 2022 on successfully convening the 13th AMI in Cape Town, South Africa, from the 9th to the 11th of May 2022 under the theme: ‘A just energy transition for sustainable mining communities in a climate crisis-era.’ The theme of the 13th AMI was very timely—cognizant of the overarching climate change impact on communities and the realisation of human rights. The ACCA and CHR join the AMI to reiterate the importance of this discussion in the efforts toward effective climate action, mitigation, and response.

The African Coalition for Corporate Accountability (ACCA) is pleased to announce the new members of its Steering Committee, elected at the 7th General Assembly of the ACCA. After an open call for applications among the ACCA membership, the new Steering Committee members were duly elected by eligible ACCA members at the GA held from 24 - 25 November 2021 in Pointe-Noire, Republic of Congo. Voting took place electronically on 25 November 2021 in line with all ACCA voting protocols.

The ACCA Secretariat is pleased to announce that the 2021 General Assembly will take place from 10 to 11 November 2021 in Pointe Noire, Republic of Congo.

In June 2011, the Human Rights Council endorsed the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) in its Resolution 17/4. These principles are based on three pillars: the State duty to protect human rights, the corporate responsibility to respect human rights, and access to remedy. Having garnered a large consensus, the UNGPs had constituted a watershed moment in the quest for corporate accountability and ending business impunity. However, the 10th anniversary of the UNGPs comes against the background of widespread business-related human rights abuses in Africa. Across the continent, business activities, especially by transnational corporations (TNCs) and extractives industries, impact daily labour rights, the right to a clean environment, the right to water, the right to health, communities’ rights to land, to list only a few. Unfortunately, no effective remedies are available for these breaches. Corporate impunity relating to human rights violations continues to run rampant on the continent, mainly with the complicity of corrupt states agencies captured by corporations.

 

ACCA, the United Nations Development Programme - UNDP and Seatini Uganda cordially invite you to a virtual consultation for Africa on human rights-compatible international investment agreements.

ACCA Membership Consultation and Conference on the Impact of COVID-19 on Human Rights Defenders in the Context of Business in Africa. 

On April 15 2021, African Coalition for Corporate Accountability (ACCA) and Accountability Counsel will co-host the second in a series of webinars following their publication of our report “Accountability in Africa: Harm from International Financial Flows and Strategies for Supporting Community-Led Access to Remedy.”

Download Invitation

The African Coalition for Corporate Accountability (ACCA), in collaboration with the Business and Human Rights Unit, Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, is convening a webinar on the COVID-19 vaccine and the related inequalities between the global north and the global south. The purpose of the webinar is to discuss the pressing issues from an African perspective.

Accountability Counsel and the African Coalition for Corporate Accountability (ACCA) cordially invite you to a webinar on the urgent need for community-led accountability in Africa. 

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Comics

A core challenge across Africa is the right of development host communities to decide on development projects within their vicinities. Considering that they inordinately bear the consequences of these projects, their right to say ‘No’ or have a say in the processes of a development project, is a right that must be protected. This right resonates in several laws and instruments across continent, but very little has been done in its fulfilment.

binding treaty

ACCA also hosted a webinar and a workshop ahead of the round of negotiations on the Second Legally Binding Human Rights Instrument, the Activities of Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises.

Discussions focused on the following themes:

ACCA members Activities

Rencontre pour la Paix et les Droits de l’Homme (RPDH) is an ACCA member organisation based in Pointe Noire in the Republic of Congo. Here is an article on activities they performed with one of the grassroots communities.

On Human Rights Day, ACCA and Accountability Counsel launched the new report, Accountability in Africa: Harm from International Financial Flows and Strategies for Supporting Community-Led Access to Remedy.

Over the last few months, ACCA has organised several webinars which were mainly focusing on the coalition working streams.

Theme1: COVID-19 AND CHINESE INVESTMENT IN AFRICA

Over the past years, Chinese investment has grown exponentially in Africa. Beyond large infrastructure projects, thousands of Chinese entrepreneurs are also settling on the continent in various sectors ranging from retail, factories, and agriculture to mining.

 

Dear Readers,

Welcome to the 2020 African Coalition for Corporate Accountability newsletter.

Despite having been a year marked by major global challenges mainly due to the Covid-19 pandemic, 2020 also marks the 7th anniversary of the ACCA.

Established in 2013 by several civil society organizations with the support of international donors, ACCA has become the voice of Africa on business and hum

FPIC(Free Prior and Informed Consent) is a legal right for indigenous people in terms of international law, based on the principle of self-determination and it is also the collective right of indigenous peoples to negotiate the terms of externally imposed policies, programs, and projects that directly affect their livelihoods and well-being.

During his visit to Bern last week, the Burkinabe Minister of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts, Mr  Harouna Kaboré has marked his disagreement with the “Popular Initiative for Responsible  Multinationals” that will be submitted to a vote in Switzerland on November 29th. According to  Minister Harouna Kaboré, the adoption of this Initiative would cause "serious socio-economic problems" in Burkina. 


Download Communiqué

Download Communiqué (Detailed)

In a detailed Statement (available here), CERDE and ACCA condemn the stance of the Burkinabe Minister that contradicts the official positions of Burkina Faso regarding the respect by multinational companies of human rights and the environment. The position made by Mr Harouna  Kaboré calls into question Burkina Faso's international commitments regarding environmental protection and human rights and affects the image and international respectability of the country. 

The CERDE and ACCA would like to highlight the real negative impact that the conduct of certain multinational corporations and other business enterprises have on human and people’s rights and the environment. In the context of the mining boom in Burkina Faso, extractive activities have given rise to several environmental and human rights issues affecting the life and livelihood of local communities as well as workers' rights. In recent years, this has caused tensions and unfortunate incidents between local communities and mining companies. These problems have been pointed out by civil society organisations on numerous occasions, including during the universal periodic review within the United Nations. 

The CERDE and ACCA welcome the commitment of the government of Burkina Faso to protect the rights of its citizens and want this commitment to be strongly translated into facts. We assume that the unfortunate take of Minister Harouna Kaboré in no way constitutes Burkina Faso's official position on this issue. Our two organisations encourage the government to reassure civil society and the people of Burkina in their struggle for more social justice and progress and a responsible way of doing business.


For more information, please contact:

Centre d’Etudes et de recherches en droit de l’environnement (CERDE) 
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00226 25654227

African Coalition for Corporate Accountability (ACCA)
ACCA Secretariat
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In June 2014, the United Nations Human Rights Council adopted resolution 26/9, by which it agreed to establish an open-ended intergovernmental working group (OEIGWG), in order to elaborate an international legally binding instrument to regulate the activities of transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to human rights. 

The African Coalition for Corporate Accountability (ACCA) and the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS) is convening a webinar on the Second Revised Draft of the Treaty on Business and Human Rights. The webinar will be an opportunity for Africans to discuss the draft, highlight its strengths and weaknesses and reflect on the prospects of galvanising state support for its adoption.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 30 July, 2020

A group of 218 current and former Kenyan tea workers have filed a formal complaint against Unilever today for its failure to respect international human rights standards following widespread violence at the multinational’s largest tea plantation.

Download press statement
Download complaint

On 29 June 2020, the African Coalition for Corporate Accountability (ACCA) in collaboration with China Accountability Project (CAP), organised a webinar on COVID-19 and its impact on Chinese investments in Africa.

The African Coalition for Corporate Accountability (ACCA) wishes to inform its members, partners and other stakeholders of the suspension, until further notice, of the Southern and Central Africa capacity building trainings, as well as the side event scheduled to take place during the 66th ordinary session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

The African Coalition for Corporate Accountability (ACCA) is a coalition of 123 African organisations addressing corporate related human rights infringements on the African continent. The theme of the 2019 General Assembly (GA) meeting was “Impacts, Opportunities and Accountability in the context of Chinese Investments in Africa.” The proliferation of Chinese firms in Africa has similarly led to the exponential increase of corporate-related human rights encroachments, thus making discussion on and around this issue topical and pertinent. In responding to the need for discourse, ACCA, in partnership with Groupe de Recherche et de Plaidoyer sur les Industries Extractives (GRPIE), hosted its 6th General Assembly from 6 to 8 November 2019. 

Session 1:  Using China’s laws, policies and guidelines in advocacy 

Dear  ACCA participants, we are getting closer to this year's General Assembly. Please take note of logistics regarding this year's meeting.

 

Contact Persons 

 

Name and surname

Email

Telephone/WhatsApp

Cécile Kpangui

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+225 08 74 55 10

Yves Sosthène Kouakou

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+225 49 52 95 06

Koko Guillain

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+ 27 78 502 96 26

Genny Ngende

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+32 486 03 47 66

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The African Coalition for Corporate Accountability (ACCA) notes with great concern the ongoing spate of xenophobic attacks on African foreign nationals in South Africa, as well as the widespread looting and burning of foreign shops. ACCA vehemently condemns such criminal and human rights encroachments.

The warm welcome and hospitality of the ACCA’s membership from East Africa created a memorable ambiance during the week of the 2018 ACCA GA. The ACCA is pleased to have collaborated with two of its partner organisations who arranged two side events which took place during the ACCA GA. The events included: a workshop on access to remedy and the First Annual conference of the African Private Security Governance Observatory (Observatory). Articles on the access to remedy workshop may be found here and here.

The ACCA Secretariat is pleased to compile this edition of the ACCA newsletter in which our readers can look forward to a summary of the 2018 ACCA GA, a testimonial from a participant at the 2018 ACCA GA, a summary of the African Private Security Governance Observatory meeting, and a briefing on the IGWG meeting in Geneva.

During the 2018 ACCA GA, a strategy meeting on the Zero Draft Treaty (Draft Treaty) took place. The purpose of the session sought to gather the ACCA’s input on the Draft Treaty. The input from participants helped reinforce the need for the ACCA to continue engaging actively in the Draft Treaty process to guard against corporate impunity for communities.

Joint statement of the ACCA and partner organisations attending the 4th OEIGWG session
 
Released on 26 October 2018

We recently caught up with Joseph Kibugu from the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre to ask them to share his experience from the 2017 ACCA GA. Here is what he had to say:

On 15 August 2018, the ACCA released a press release on the ruling of the UK Court of Appeal on Unilver. The ACCA press release by be downloaded by clicking here.

From 21-23 April 2018, the ACCA participated in the NGO Forum in Nouakchott, Mauritania which was convened by the African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies. The NGO Forum precedes the Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. This was the first time that the ACCA attended the NGO Forum. The ACCA, therefore, seized this opportunity to network with NGOs present, display ACCA material, and participate in a panel discussion.

I caught up with the new Project's Coordinator of the ACCA to interview him about his career path and vision for the ACCA. Read the full interview below!

It gives us great pleasure to present this edition of the ACCA Quarterly Newsletter to our readers. This edition of the ACCA newsletter includes: an update on the activities in which the ACCA has been involved; an exclusive interview with Guillain Koko; along with a sneak preview of this year’s ACCA General Assembly (GA) 2018.

On 14 May 2018, the Coordinator of the African Coalition for Corporate Accountability (ACCA) participated via Skype in an ILO high-level Policy Dialogue which took place in Geneva, Switzerland on “Inclusive growth and development: Aligning practices in the private sector with the 2030 development agenda”.

The event is one of five high-level policy dialogues designed to inform the work of the International Labour Organization’s Global Commission on the Future of Work (Commission). The ACCA’s input’s sought to deepen the Commission’s understanding of the issues and enrich its final report, scheduled for publication at the beginning of 2019. The agenda for the event may be found here. The ACCA took part in Session 3: Charting good practice – New incentive structures to share profits and align enterprises with SDG goals. The ACCA’s presentation was centred on the following topics:

Dear ACCA community,

It is my pleasure to announce and introduce to you the new Projects Coordinator of the ACCA: Mr Guillian Koko who joined the ACCA on 02 May 2018. Guillain will take the lead on ACCA’s substantive work on free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) and access to remedy. In addition, Guillain will be assisting the ACCA in playing a more prominent role in terms of business and human rights issues on the continent, and ACCA’s desire to support African communities and individuals whose human rights are adversely impacted daily by the activities of corporations, both multi-national and domestic. To read his bio, please scroll down.

It is my pleasure to compile this edition of the ACCA newsletter for the ACCA’s member organisations and friends. This edition of the ACCA newsletter features a story of the work done by New Media Advocacy Project (N-Map) and the Centre du Commerce International pour le Development (CECIDE) in using video to help mining-affected communities protect their rights in Guinea, as well as an introduction to the newest member of the ACCA Steering Committee (SC), and some reflections on the ACCA’s participation in this year’s Alternative Mining Indaba (AMI) in Cape Town.

The African Coalition for Corporate Accountability (ACCA) participated in the 9th Alternative Mining Indaba which took place from 5 to 7 February in Cape Town, South Africa under the theme: Making Natural Resources Work for the People: Towards Just Legal, Policy and Institutional Reforms. The AMI drew people from across Africa and beyond, representing civil society organisations and communities affected by mining activities. The aim was to give civil society a platform to discuss problems around and solutions to mining related issues on the African continent. The event was organised into plenary sessions and side events. The event was very informative and afforded the ACCA Steering Committee (SC) members an opportunity to learn more about the challenges faced by mining communities across the continent and the activities of other organisations in the sector. The members also took the opportunity to network with other civil society organisations.

ACCA and AFRILAW joint Statement - UK Court of Appeal Rules Royal Dutch Shell Not Liable for Nigeria Oil Spills

Released on 23 February 2018

Download the joint statement here

The African Coalition for Corporate Accountability (ACCA) and African Law Foundation (AFRILAW), Nigeria express deep concern over the ruling handed down by the Court of Appeal in which the London-based Royal Dutch Shell was not responsible for oil pollution in the Niger Delta by its Nigerian subsidiary.

ACCA statement – Alternative Mining Indaba (AMI) 2018
Released on 15 February 2018

The African Coalition for Corporate Accountability (ACCA) congratulates the convenors of the Alternative Mining Indaba (AMI) 2018 on successfully convening the 9th AMI in Cape Town, South Africa, from 5-7 February 2018 under the theme: Making Natural Resources Work for the People: Towards Just Legal, Policy and Institutional Reforms.

From 27 to 29 November 2017, ACCA and number of ACCA member organisations and a few friends of the ACCA attended the Annual UN Forum on Business and Human Rights (BHR), which takes place at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. This event is organised by the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights, and brings together a number of different stakeholders each year to discuss thematic issues around BHR. The overarching theme for the 6th UN Forum on Business and Human Rights was 'Access to Remedy'. The Forum is organised mainly with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and human rights in mind. ACCA had a stand at this year’s Forum where participants at the Forum were able to enquire about the ACCA and its ongoing activities.

This year’s ACCA General Assembly was initially meant to take place in Nairobi, Kenya, from 17-19 October. However, in light of the clash of dates of the re-elections in Kenya, an official ACCA communication was released on 12 September 2017 informing the ACCA community of the unanimous decision to postpone this year's GA, and associated side-events to be moved from Nairobi to Pretoria, with the new dates: 14-16 November 2017. A promotional video was also released ahead of this year’s GA, which may be viewed here.

Greetings to members and friends of the African Coalition for Corporate Accountability (ACCA).

It is my pleasure to compile this Newsletter for both member organisations and friends of the ACCA. The activities in which ACCA was involved has marked an important year for our Coalition, which included: the 2017 ACCA General Assembly, (GA) and the 6th annual UN Forum on Business and Human Rights (BHR).

Warm greetings to the ACCA community.

The upcoming ACCA General Assembly will be taking place in Nairobi, Kenya from 17-19 October. The theme for this year’s General Assembly is access to remedy. This theme was selected by the ACCA Steering Committee members for two main reasons: access to remedy is one of the themes of the ACCA working group and the theme for this year’s annual UN Forum on Business and Human Rights is access to remedy.

Group photo taken during 3rd ACCA GA

The 4th upcoming ACCA GA will take place in Nairobi, Kenya from 17-19 October 2017. The overarching theme for this year’s General Assembly is access to remedy.

Lamu Community in Kenya

At the heart of Accountability Counsel’s cases are community members who were denied their basic right to participate in decisions that critically impact their lives.  Powerful actors – governments, companies, banks – exclude community voices from “development” projects, predictably leading to serious harm.

Thanks to the grant approval from the 11th Hour Project, ACCA SC members convened as part of the 2nd in-person Steering Committee members meeting which took place in Abuja, Nigeria from 11-13 January. Abiodun Baiyewu-Teru, together with her team at Global Rights Nigeria, hosted the meeting and treated SC members to Nigerian hospitality. The list of SC members who attended the meeting included:

The end of year provides a moment to reflect on achievements made within that year. In terms of the ACCA, 2016 has been a year with positive developments for our relatively young Coalition. Undoubtedly, the first in-person ACCA Steering Committee meeting and the 3rd ACCA General Assembly were both important and fruitful ACCA events during which much progress was made for our Coalition.

From 14- 16 November 2016, the 2 co-Chairs of the ACCA Steering Committee together with the Coordinator attended the UN Forum on Business and Human Rights which took place at the Palais des Nations Unies in Geneva, Switzerland. ACCA managed to secure a stand where interested parties present at the Forum to get information on the ACCA and its activities.

From 26 to 28 October, the 11th Hour Project Connect 2016 event took place in San Francisco, USA. Present at the event was the ACCA Coordinator along with ACCA member organisations which include: ADEV, International Rivers, CECIDE, International Rivers and Lien De Brouckere.

ACCA STATEMENT - ANNUAL UN FORUM ON BUSINESS AND HUMAN RIGHTS:
WHAT IS THE ROLE THAT AFRICAN CIVIL SOCIETY SHOULD PLAY AT THE UN FORUM?
14 – 16 NOVEMBER 2016
 
Released on 24 November 2016

| Deadline extended - call for applications: external research consultant - FPIC and access to remedy |

The Open Society Institute for Southern Africa (OSISA) and Southern African Resources Watch (SARW) jointly organised a national workshop in Lubumbashi aimed female journalists and members of human rights NGOs from the following provinces: Haut-Katanga, le Lualaba, Central-Congo, Kasai and Maniema. The training took place in Lubumbashi, DRC at Park Hotel's Grand Hall, from 02 to 06 May 2016.

It gives me great pleasure to present this newsletter to the ACCA leadership. During the past few months, the ACCA has taken positive steps to reaching the goals as defined by its members.

From 6 – 7 July 2016, the African Coalition for Corporate Accountability (ACCA) hosted its 3rd General Assembly at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. The event was attended by approximately 110 people, which included a larger number of ACCA members, as well as a small number of external participants and students. The ACCA Steering Committee also used the opportunity to have two separate meetings, during which internal matters related to the ACCA were discussed.


From 15 – 16 February 2016, ACCA Steering Committee (SC) Members convened in Nairobi, Kenya. This marked the first in‐person SC Meeting since the SC members were elected, and provided the Steering Committee members with the unique opportunity to collectively engage with the ACCA Coordinator.

ACCA commends the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights (Working Group) for convening the 4th Annual Forum on Business and Human Rights in Geneva (Forum), from 16 – 18 November 2015. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) serves as the global convener on human rights issues, and to this end, ACCA sees the Forum as an important opportunity to hear from all key stakeholders.

 

By way of introduction, my name is Damian Oakes. I completed my undergraduate studies in International Relations and French. Thereafter, I completed an Honours degree in French. During my post graduate studies, I completed a language immersion programme in France during which I worked as a language assistant teaching English as a foreign language at Lycée Gabriel Fauré in Annecy, France. I completed my Masters’ degree in Interpreting and Translation (French to English) whilst focusing on international relations and human rights related issues.

 

We are delighted that several ACCA members were able to participate in the UN Forum on Business and Human Rights last week in Geneva, and they have released the following statement with their reflections and call for action:

 After a number of internal discussions following the African Regional Forum on Business and Human Rights, the 88-member African Coalition for Corporate Accountability (ACCA) issued a statement outlining its impressions of the Forum that was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Sept. 16 to 18.