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My first attendance at the ACCA GA

The 2018 ACCA General Assembly (GA) was the first ACCA GA in which I participated. Ahead of the GA, I was not quite sure of what to expect, but had expectations of a pleasant, collaborative and participatory event. The GA surpassed my initial expectations, to say the least. The agenda for this year’s event presented a great opportunity for me to partake in all the proceedings, and network with participants.

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Global peer learning session on FPIC – Oxfam (2018 ACCA GA)

Oxfam and civil society allies from Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria and Peru will host a global peer learning session on FPIC which seeks to provide participants at this year’s GA with an overview of the opportunities and challenges around FPIC advocacy work to date in the Africa region and beyond. The session will be dynamic and interactive, allowing for participants to share their stories.

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Water is Life, Data is Proof: Using Cell Phones to Document Water Resources

During the 2018 ACCA GA, the New Media Advocacy Project (NMAP) and Witness will provide a hands-on training that teaches community representatives and advocates to use cell phones to visually document water resources and contamination. This training seeks to equip communities with the tools required to have a better understanding of free, prior and informed consent (FPIC).

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Report on civil society meeting in Abidjan (May 2018)

Thanks to the generous financial support from Lumière Synergie pour le Développement (Senegal), I was part of a group of over 40 civil society representatives from across Africa and worldwide who came together in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire on the margins of the 2018 Civil Society Forum of the African Development Bank (AfDB) which took place from 7 to 10 May in Abidjan as a prelude to the 2018 Annual Meetings of the AfDB scheduled for Busan, Republic of Korea May 21 - 25, 2018.

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Demand for Bank’s due diligence saves communities from harm

Elias from CFJ talking to community members in Chimamba village about the project

In February 2017, the World Bank made a decision not to finance the Lilongwe Water project in Malawi. This was a $290 million development project to be partly funded by the World Bank ($71m) aimed at expanding access to water services in Lilongwe district and improving the financial and operational performance of the Lilongwe Water Board. The project involved investments in the Diamphwe Multipurpose Dam, a water treatment plant and a water transmission line.

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Access to remedy: a legal empowerment approach to environmental justice in Kenya

Kenya’s country’s Vision 2030 places emphasis on trade, industrial expansion and infrastructure development (Kenya’s Vision 2030). An example of industrial expansion is the nation’s salt industry. The majority of the salt industry is located in the coastal areas where six privately owned salt manufacturing industries are based.

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Peace on the horizon for Mukungwe gold mine?

The discovery of gold around 1970 changed the landscape of this village. Gold was discovered when a cow grazing in the pastures stumbled and slid, exposing a piece of the land where a gold nugget laid. This discovery marked the beginning of the Mukungwe gold rush. Traditional authorities claim that while the surface of the land does not belong to them, the subsoil belongs to them, thus making them the rightful owners of the gold. The Chunu clan disagreed with this claim. This disagreement sparked a conflict between the parties. To make matters worse, the leader of the Chunu clan involved Rubango (head of another family) in the feud.

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The Grand Inga – a false solution to energy poverty

The Grand Inga hydropower scheme in the Democratic Republic of Congo will be located on the Congo River, near the city of Matadi, about 250km southwest of Kinshasa and 150 km upstream of the Congo Estuary. When built, the Grand Inga would form the world’s largest hydropower scheme, on the lower end of the Congo River, with a capacity of 40,000 MW, enough power to supply one-third of the current electricity demand in Sub-Saharan Africa (except for South Africa). SADC, NEPAD, SAPP have listed the Grand Inga as a priority project for the region because of this huge potential power.

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CSOs of la Francophonie convene in Madagascar

From 2–4 November 2016, the 10th Conference of International Non-Governmental Organisations and Civil Society Organisations accredited to la Francophonie took place in Tanarive, Madagascar at Colbert hotel. The Secretary General of la Francophonie, Madame Michaelle Jean, and Administer of the International Organisation of la Francophonie (OIF), Monsieur Adama Ouane were present at the meeting.

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International Rivers: Guide for Communities to be Impacted by the Inga 3 Dam

International Rivers published a guide entitled: "A Guide for Communities to be impacted by the Inga 3 Dam". This guide is intended for communities who risk being displaced, whether physically (losing access to land or home) or economically (losing assets or access to resources for income and livelihood) by the construction and operation of the Inga 3 Dam project. This guide has contributions from Rudo Sanyanga, Kirk Herbertson and Lien De Brouckere. Click here to download the guide in English. 

Applying the UN Guiding Principles by Business and Extractive Industries Remains Problematic in the DRC

The 4th UN Forum on Business and Human Rights took place in Geneva, Switzerland from 16th to 18th November 2015; an initiative of the UN Counsel of Human Rights under the leadership of the Working Group on Business and Human Rights. The organisation Justice Pour Tous attended the event and presented a paper on the respect of the UN Guiding Principles by Extractive Industries.

Read more: Applying the UN Guiding...

7th Global Conference in Lima, 23 to 26 February 2016: From Reports to Results

 The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative’s (EITI) flagship event in extractive resource governance, which takes place every two years, was held from 24th to 25th February in Lima, Peru. EITI is a global standard that seeks to promote open and accountable management of natural and extractive resources. It brings together business, government, civil society organisations and community based organisations. This was the 7th EITI Global Conference. The EITI Global Conference was preceded by the Publish What You Pay (PWYP) Global Assembly that was held from the 22nd to 23rd of February 2016.

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Alternative Mining Indaba: "Making Natural Resources Work for the People – Leaving No One Behind”

Civil society organisations, academics, Faith Based Organisations, the media, community based organisations, Pan-African networks and organisations, mining-affected communities and international partners convened for the 7th Alternative Mining Indaba (AMI) under the theme “Making Natural Resources Work for the People, – Leaving No One Behind” which took place from 8th to the 11th of February 2016 in Cape Town, South Africa. This year’s event attracted more than 350 participants. Since its inception in 2010, the AMI has become a platform where mining-affected communities, in particular, and relevant parties involved shared experiences, strategies to mobilise, advocacy and continuous development of strategic tools to challenge the powers that be in the extractive sector.

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African Resources Watch (AFREWATCH) is a non-governmental organisation which was established on 5 December 2013 following years of social degradation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). AFREWATCH was established by a multidisciplinary team of experts whose goal was to guarantee transparency in the extraction of natural resources in Africa as a means of ensuring socioeconomic development of the people of Africa.

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The Environmental Impact of Mining and Logging Projects by Chinese Investors in East Kasai, DRC

In line with the “China-Africa project for the improvement of governance and forest resource governance” headed up by the International Institute for Environment and Development DRDC (IIED), and established by the WWF together with the Natural Resources Network, a multiparty stakeholder workshop was held from 8th to 9th August 2015 at the Regional Counsel of Non-Governmental Organisations for the development of the East Kasai (CRONGD)’s offices. The purpose of the workshop was to share the results of the study and discuss the current situation regarding Chinese investment and trends in land usage in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

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People’s Forum on Business and Human Rights

The International Network for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR-net) and the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) organised the 4th People’s Forum on Business and Human Rights which took place from 26th to 28th October, at the Sarova Panafric Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya. A total of 43 participants from all corners of the globe converged in Kenya with the overarching objective of reviewing the progress made, collectively defining new strategies in addressing issues of human rights abuses by TNCs, and establishing a common agenda between the members of the network and its partners for 2016.

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ZAMI 2015: Advancing New Thinking on Engagement for Sustainable Mining

Over 250 delegates participated in this year’s Zimbabwe Alternative Mining Indaba (ZAMI) which took place in Bulawayo from 23rd – 24th September 2015 at Holiday Inn Hotel. The annual gathering, which was organised by the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA), Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC) and Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD), has become the first alternative space in which communities, civil society organisations, mining companies, legislators and the executive of government engaged in real conversations on events shaping mineral resource governance in Zimbabwe.

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Exploring Business and Human Rights in Malawi

As business in Africa experiences exponential growth and attracts foreign investors to the continent, so are the expectations of its citizens for greater accountability and transparency from both their government and businesses operating within their respective borders. Southern Africa’s abundance of natural resources attracts both international and national companies to Malawi’s borders. This explains, in part, why the topic of business and human rights is quickly becoming a focal point within the sub-region.

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ZELA Appeals for Corporate Accountability in Zimbabwe

The Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA) is a public interest organisation that promotes the rights of marginalized and vulnerable communities in areas rich in natural resources through ensuring good governance in the environmental and natural resources sector. Since ZELA’s inception, its primary focus has been the advancement of community rights through legal instruments.

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Justice For All

Justice For All (Justice Pour Tous) is a Congolese organisation created on 7th April 1995. Its main office is located in Bukavu, in the South Kivu Province of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Justice for All’s raison d’être seeks to accompany vulnerable and marginalised communities through empowerment programmes for peace-building, restoration of socio-economic rights, access to basic healthcare services, sustainable protection of the environment and natural ecosystems, working towards the sound management of natural resources along with the fight against poverty. 

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Synopsis on the Roundtable on Diamond Mining in the Kasai region

In line with the goal of promoting economic and social justice and improving mining governance in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the Kasai region, more specifically, the Regional Council of Development NGO’s le Conseil Régional des Organisations Non Gouvernementales de Développement (CRONGD) with the support of the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA), arranged a roundtable discussion on diamond mining in the Kasai region.

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More than 60 ACCA Members gathered in Addis Ababa for Regional Meetings

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.More than 60 people representing about 45 civil society organizations of the African Coalition for Corporate Accountability (ACCA) were gathered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia last week to bring grassroots issues to a United Nations meeting at the African Regional Forum on Business and Human Rights, and to lay the structural foundation for the ACCA at its Second Meeting hosted by Global Rights.

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Four ACCA Members in the Great Lakes Region Call on President Obama to Protect Virunga National Park

Four ACCA member organizations from the Great Lakes Region have joined in an open letter calling on President Obama to act to protect Virunga National Park: Centre de Recherche sur l’Environnement, la Démocratie et les Droits de l’Homme (CREDDHO); Réseau pour la Conservation et la Réhabilitation des Ecosystèmes Forestiers (Réseau CREF); Actions pour les Droits, l’Environnement et la Vie (ADEV); and Global Rights Alert (GRA).

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African Civil Society Calls for Investment that Protects Human Rights at U.S.-Africa Leaders’ Summit

In the run-up to the first-ever U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, 52 African civil society organizations have sent an open letter to U.S. President Barack Obama and the 50 invited African heads of state asking to participate and have local business and human rights priorities included in a forum that focuses on U.S. trade and foreign investment in Africa.

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