Rights Extracted: Toward transparency & respect for human rights in mining, oil & gas in Francophone Africa
Francophone countries, and La Francophonie itself, have an enormous opportunity to shape future investment and economic growth in Francophone Africa for better respect for human rights
As the Organisation Internationale de La Francophonie holds its second annual economic forum, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre has released analysis of 10 years of approaches to companies on allegations of human rights abuses in Francophone Africa.
Almost half of these approaches (42%) have related to human rights concerns regarding extractive companies. While these companies tend to respond publicly to concerns when asked to (90% responded), this sector continues as a major concern for civil society: There has been no decline in the proportion or number of approaches the Resource Centre has made to extractive companies regarding Francophone Africa over the last 10 years.
The greatest risks are in conflict or weak governance zones. Four of the top five countries and territories in Francophone Africa where human rights concerns were raised about companies’ operations, were in countries of current or recent conflicts and instability (Democratic Republic of Congo, Niger, Western Sahara, and Côte d’Ivoire). This shows the importance of measures in multinationals’ home countries and at the international level to improve accountability for companies operating in weak governance zones.
“This year’s forum is a perfect opportunity for La Francophonie to integrate the important principles of human rights into its emerging work on economic and business issues. It must do so if this work is to promote growth that benefits the poorest in Africa and respects the rights of all stakeholders”
Aliou Diouf, Francophone Africa Researcher and Representative, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre