On the occasion of the African Union Annual Forum on Business and Human Rights, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung AU Cooperation in Addis Ababa has organized the African Incoming Journalist Program from 10-14th October 2022, in Accra, Ghana.
Unanimously endorsed by the Human Rights Council in 2011, the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) provide the normative framework to address and improve human rights standards in the business sector. The UNGPs have received unprecedented support and endorsement from the member states, stakeholders, and regional organizations, including the African Union.
To further domesticate and adapt the UNGPs to African realities, the African Union (AU) drafted a Policy Framework on Business and Human Rights in Africa. The draft Policy is instrumental in curbing corporate excesses in Africa. The Policy Framework marks an important step towards mainstreaming and integrating human rights into business practices at the national and regional levels. It will further steer the discourse on business and human rights towards practical and positive implementation efforts at the state level.
So far, there has been a limited discussion around the pertaining topic of B&HRs in Africa and to the end, the AU forum on B&HRs in Accra, Ghana, marks the first crucial step to extend and domesticate the discussion within the African continent. Against this background, FES AU office has invited 9 prominent African journalists to attend the Business and Human Rights Forum in Ghana with the aim of sensitizing the AU Draft Policy Framework, popularizing the B&HR agenda in Africa and especially highlight labour rights issues related to B&HR and the drafting of National Action Plans. Besides participating in the Forum, the journalists had the opportunity to have a background meeting with policymakers and practitioners, academicians and trade unionists.
Through the course of the program, journalists have had the opportunity to report about the forum, and some even produced articles and news content as a part of popularizing the BHR agenda within Africa. In line with the program, they had also the opportunity to participate in a side event, particularly focusing on trade unions to highlight their role in drafting NAPs and to shed light on the central importance of labour rights to be integrated in B&HR NAPs.
On the occasion of the AU forum, an independent researcher, Dr. Oyeniyi O. Abe with support from the FES AU Cooperation office has launched his book titled ‘The State of Business and Human Rights in Africa’’. It is a scoping study where he analyzed the state of business and Human Rights and overviews the proposed AU policy framework and its implication on the B&HRs dynamic in Africa.
For more information on this topic, please contact Mr. Amanuel Desalegne
Program Manager, FES AU Cooperation Office
Mob: +251 911 197062