52 African civil society groups call for investment that protects human rights, at U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit

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Article
6 August 2014

Obama's speech at US-Africa Business Forum

...I’m pleased that in conjunction with this forum, American companies are announcing major new deals in Africa.  Blackstone will invest in African energy projects.  Coca-Cola will partner with Africa to bring clean water to its communities.  GE will help build African infrastructure.  Marriott will build more hotels.  All told, American companies -- many with our trade assistance -- are announcing new deals in clean energy, aviation, banking, and construction worth more than $14 billion, spurring development across Africa and selling more goods stamped with that proud label, “Made in America."...

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Article
6 August 2014

Global Witness urges USA to push for transparency in natural resource wealth management to transform lives in Africa

Author: Simon Taylor & Corinna Gilfillan, Global Witness

"Ending corruption is the key to ending poverty in Africa. Will President Obama push it at this week’s summit?" 5 August 2014

Corruption in the natural resource sector is disastrous for Africa’s development. In 2012, the continent’s oil and mineral exports were worth $305 billion – almost seven times the amount it received in international aid. Yet lack of accountability in oil, gas and mining deals means much of Africa’s population remains desperately poor, while political elites and international companies make a killing...Many African countries are signed up to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) standard. Under the EITI’s new rules, countries are encouraged to publish natural resource contracts and the real owners of companies who win natural resource contracts.  All EITI countries should follow those African countries that are doing this.  And they should allow civil society the space and safety to make sure citizens can scrutinize and critique resource deals without fear of reprisal. Across the world, momentum is building to lift the veil of secrecy over money that could transform education, healthcare, judicial and other critical systems in developing countries. The U.S. has played a key role in making some of this happen – but its companies have also provided some of the best-funded and most well-connected resistance

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Article
4 August 2014

Institute for Human Rights & Business calls for "responsible foreign direct investment" in Africa

Author: Motoko Aizawa & John Ruggie, in Institute for Human Rights & Business

"Investment in Africa: Thinking Beyond Stereotypes" 3 August 2014

...[T]his historic Summit should be a moment for the US administration to underscore a particular brand of investment in Africa – not just any investment but responsible foreign direct investment. The US government and US business leaders should use this opportunity to reaffirm their commitment to the kind of investment that would demonstrate adherence to internationally accepted standards of state and corporate behaviour, like the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and related Principles for Responsible Contracts, as well as multi-stakeholder standards like the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights, among others. The growing number of African civil society organizations that are increasingly advocating for more transparency, accountability and respect for human rights, especially within the extractive sector, expect no less of such investments. Many have worked in partnerships with their governments to sign and commit to major initiatives and frameworks such as the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI)...To build stronger economic ties to Africa, there is no need to apologize for emphasizing the importance of respecting human rights and promoting good governance at home and abroad. Responsible investment should be a goal for each and every nation that promotes foreign direct investment, bound for Africa or elsewhere.

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Article
1 August 2014

Columnist urges U.S.-Africa Summit to discuss "fair, ethical and mutually beneficial" investments

Author: Stephen Yeboah, in Africa Progress Panel

"Fair and Ethical Investments are Key to Africa's Economic Transformation" 29 July 2014

Despite the investments pouring into Africa, however, poverty is widespread, education and health infrastructure is inadequate, and millions of children go to bed hungry. Why such a disconnect? One reason is that many investments are not made in a transparent and accountable manner. As a result African governments lose huge sums of money. Making investments fair, ethical and mutually beneficial ought to be at the heart of discussions as 50 Africa leaders gather in Washington D.C at the historic U.S.–Africa Leaders Summit on August 4-6, 2014. The summit –the first time a sitting U.S. president has invited so many African heads of state and government – offers an opportunity to lay down some ground rules for ethical investment that benefits the greatest number of Africans.

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Article
1 August 2014

So. Africa: Ahead of U.S.-Africa Summit, General Electric CEO says multinationals have a significant role in employment creation

Author: Tim Schweikert, President of GE South Africa, in Business Report (So. Africa)

"Role of multinational firms in promoting SA skills and job creation" 1 August 2014

As heads of state from South Africa and across the continent prepare to participate in the upcoming US-Africa Leaders’ Summit next week in Washington, the importance of partnerships between the two countries is apparent. The US is increasing its efforts to engage and is exploring ways to deepen US-Africa relations. In South Africa, we should consider how our partnership with the US can be strengthened by the support of multinational companies...Already, US firms are contributing to a key South African industry – renewable energy generation and energy-efficiency technologies. As this “green revolution” gains pace, so does the ability to create jobs and aid technology transfers in both countries, while contributing to South Africa’s economic growth. Both countries can reap the benefits of expanded trade in other industries as well – with markets opening in both directions following the announcement of South Africa’s infrastructure build programme. [refers to General Electric, Ford, Anglo-American, Microsoft,

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Article
31 July 2014

Open Letter to President Obama from African Civil Society

Author: Representatives of the Africa PWYP Steering Committee

Dear Mr. President,

We, the African civil society leaders of Publish What You Pay - a global coalition campaigning for an open and accountable gas, oil and mining sector - are addressing you on the eve of the US - Africa Leaders’ Summit. We are addressing you as concerned citizens, forced to see their countries cheated out of revenues as illicit financial flows drain Africa of its resources. Because of trade mispricing, opacity and secrecy jurisdictions our continent has lost out on more than $1 trillion over the last 30 years...Our natural resources are an opportunity for us to create better lives for our future generations, but if good governance does not prevail that chance will be squandered. And with oil, gas and mining, the one chance is all you get. We are addressing you as committed Africans and credible civil society actors that engage in good governance. Despite the difficulties there is a growing movement for good governance across our continent. Countries are joining, and successfully implementing, standards such as the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. They are taking ownership of natural resource management, incorporating the Africa Mining Vision and providing the continent with its own framework...We are calling on our governments to commit to an open and transparent bidding process for the allocation of extractive contracts and licenses, including the publication of contracts...to commit to creating open budgeting processes, so that we can ensure extractive revenues are responsibly spent.

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Item
28 July 2014

Discussion on "Business and Human Rights: Opportunities for Leadership in Africa - 5 August 2014", Washington, D.C.

Author: Institute for Human Rights and Business & International Corporate Accountability Roundtable

Business and human rights issues should be at the forefront of the investment and development agenda anywhere, including Africa.  While there are challenges to ensuring that business respects human rights in their activities in the region, there are also ample opportunities for leadership by all stakeholders. Join us for a discussion to move forward a robust business and human rights agenda in Africa.

 

 

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Article
25 July 2014

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

Author: Global Rights (USA)

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Item
25 July 2014

Open Letter to Heads of State participating in the US-Africa Leaders Summit

Author: African Coalition for Corporate Accountability (ACCA) 24 July 2014

We, the undersigned, as members of the African Coalition for Corporate Accountability (ACCA) and other organizations, are delighted to know that the United States will host an exceptional Summit…on American trade and investment in Africa…We welcome trade and investment that supports inclusive and rights-based development for our communities and constituencies…[We] call for –at a minimum –the priorities we outline below of affected communities and civil society in Africa in the context of business activity to shape the agenda of the USA-Africa Leaders Summit, in particular the US-Africa Business Summit…[We] call on our governments to commit to implementing national action plans to communicate the steps they are taking to ensure human rights are protected in relation to business activities.

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