SWITZERLAND: SECAM Calls on Extractive Industries to Spearhead Foreign Direct Investments in Africa

GENEVA, OCTOBER 15, 2019 (CISA)– “There is the real need to realize development that enhances and promotes important values such as human dignity, wellbeing, sustenance, self-esteem and above that which promote the human person’s abilities to become a moral agent through human rights.”

A statement signed by Bishop John Oballa Owaa, the Chairman of Catholic Justice and Peace Commission-Kenya and read by Father Joe Aka from RECOWA on behalf of SECAM at the ongoing United Nations binding treaty meeting in Geneva highlights how individuals collude to lock out communities from benefiting from foreign direct investments.

“Many communities in Kenya have been denied their fair share of benefits and opportunities to participate in the sector due to shortcomings in land adjudication and registration,” it reads.

According to the statement, affected community members have not been adequately compensated when their land is earmarked for extractive operations. “The distinctive relationship between indigenous people with land and natural resources needs to be protected and the particular needs of women should be specifically addressed.”

With reference to section 119 of the Mining Act 2016, the commission has called upon the Kenyan Government to publicize all mineral agreements inviting the international community to “take serious regard for human dignity in their activities for purposes of shared value through local development that is sustainable and promotes integral human development.”

“We also note the need for a global legally binding instrument to regulate the activities of transnational corporations and other business enterprises,” in a bid to address the global governance gap in the regulation of transnationals.

United Nations binding treaty meeting is a global campaign mobilized towards international binding on business and human rights. The meeting is scheduled to take place from October 14-18.