Africa is experiencing a sustained period of economic growth due to emerging prospects and investments in the extractive, agriculture, technology, and telecommunication sectors. This development has come at the price of human rights violations especially in African countries where governments rely on revenues from extractive industries and manufacturing. During the development stage, companies openly violate the rights to land, food, a safe environment, health, and life. These violations occur largely because of judicial and legal constraints and a lack of government commitment to safeguarding the rights of its people.

But sustainable businesses can generate respect for human rights across their value chains, and Charles believes that the challenge for civic activists is to convince African governments to align business operations with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. He suggests a number of strategies: for CSOs to trigger conversations through multisectoral convenings and forums; for trade unions and professional associations to develop mechanisms to monitor and track businesses’ operations; and finally, for civil society at large to promote the development of a comprehensive continental regulatory body that establishes rules and effective accountability mechanisms.

The full article can be found on the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) website.

Photo by Angelo Moleele on Unsplash