10 Nov 2020 - by A4ID

Promoting Responsible Business Practices in East Africa: The Role of In-House Counsel

As part of its Responsible Business Programme, A4ID in partnership with EALS (East Africa Law Society) is organising a series of webinars that aims at building the capacity of lawyers in East Africa to support businesses in upholding responsible business practices. Working in collaboration with national bar associations, global leading law firms and other stakeholders from East Africa, A4ID seeks to create awareness among commercial lawyers and in-house counsel on the international legal framework they can rely on.

The Responsible Business webinars aim to build the capacity of East African commercial lawyers and in-house counsel to better understand how international legal framework on responsible business fit into the broader framework of corporate governance and regulatory compliance. The webinars also provide informed advice to businesses in ensuring they uphold their corporate responsibility to respect human rights in line with international and local legal framework.

The Programme facilitates training, peer-to-peer learning and mentoring for commercial lawyers, in-house counsel, business leaders and other stakeholders committed to supporting and promoting responsible business practices. It also provides an opportunity for sharing experience on challenges and opportunities for the legal community in promoting compliance with responsible business practice in line with international, regional and national legal frameworks.

Responsible Business

Responsible Business is a core component of corporate governance and requires deliberate efforts by lawyers advising companies and in-house counsel to ensure businesses conduct their affairs with consideration for ethical, environmental and community goals in addition to their profit-making focus. The thematic topic of responsible business covers areas that include business policies and practices on corruption, bribery, money laundering, privacy, data protection, sustainability, fair labour practices and corporate respect for human rights. Responsible business goes beyond compliance with local legislation and corporate governance guidelines. It is useful in managing and mitigating legal risks, reputational risks and safeguarding against unethical business conduct.

While there are various laws and policies in different jurisdictions on corporate governance that cover topical issues on responsible business, the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) remain an internationally recognised framework for all international businesses to be accountable for upholding human rights standards. Structured around the ‘Protect, Respect, Remedy’ framework, UNGPs establish a prerequisite for businesses to ensure they live up to their corporate duty to respect human rights and use leverage to ensure that businesses in their supply chain have similar compliance standards and practices.

Beyond companies’ legal human rights’ obligations, respecting international responsible business practice guidelines is essential as it can avoid potential reputational damage and legal claims which can have far greater and longer-term impacts on businesses’ profitability. In this context, International legal standards, like the Equator Principles – adopted by 107 financial institutions, spanning over 38 countries – can serve as a human rights due diligence precondition to obtain and secure finance.

This webinar series will focus on one country every month. Webinars have already been organised for lawyers in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Rwanda. In the coming months, A4ID and EALS plan to replicate this webinar for in-house counsel and commercial lawyers in Burundi and South Sudan. Watch this space for updates on those upcoming webinars.

Past Events

Responsible Business Training for Commercial Lawyers and In-House Counsel in Rwanda

29 October 2020

Country Partner: Rwanda Bar Association

Moderator: Yasmin Batliwala, CEO, A4ID

Opening Remarks:

Hanningtone Amol, CEO, EALS

Julien Gustave Kavaruganda, President, Rwanda Bar Association

Speakers:

Herbert Rubasha, Partner, MRB Attorneys, Rwanda

Roger Lesse, Partner, Clifford Chance

Anna Kirkpatrick, Senior Associate, Clifford Chance

Antonny Mukulu Nshimye, Chief Legal Officer, Rwanda Finance Limited

Plenary Moderator/Closing Remarks:

Hanningtone Amol, CEO, EALS

To watch this webinar, please click here.

Responsible Business Training for Commercial Lawyers and In-House Counsel in Tanzania

22 September 2020

Country Partners: Tanzania Law Society and Zanzibar Law Society

Moderator: Yasmin Batliwala, CEO, A4ID

Opening Remarks:

Hanningtone Amol, CEO, EALS

Slim Abdalla, President, Zanzibar Law Society (ZLS)

Speakers:

Flaviana Charles, Corporate Governance and Responsible Business Consultant, Tanzania

Mosaud Salim Mohamed, a Corporate Lawyer, Oil & Gas and Governance Expert, Zanzibar

Mr. Stuart Neely, Senior Associate and Responsible Business Lawyer, Norton Rose Fulbright LLP.

Plenary Moderator/Closing Remarks:

Hanningtone Amol, CEO, EALS

To watch this webinar, please click here.

Responsible Business Training for Commercial Lawyers and In-House Counsel in Uganda

29 July 2020

Country Partner: Uganda Law Society

Moderator: Yasmin Batliwala, CEO, A4ID

Opening Remarks:

Hanningtone Amol, CEO, EALS

Joyce Nalunga, CEO, Uganda Law Society

Speakers:

Gauthier van Thuyne, Head of Belgian Environmental and Regulatory Law Dept., Allen & Overy LLP

Camille Leroy from the Brussels office of international law firm Allen & Overy LLP,

Asmahaney Saad, Managing Partner, Veritas Legal Services.

Plenary Moderator/Closing Remarks:

Hanningtone Amol, CEO, EALS

Responsible Business Training for Commercial Lawyers and In-House Counsel in Kenya:

11 June 2020

Country Partner: Law Society of Kenya

Moderator: Yasmin Batliwala, CEO, A4ID

Opening Remarks:

Hanningtone Amol, Chief Executive, EALS

Ndinda Kinyili, Convener, LSK In-House Counsel Committee

Speakers:

Howard Morris, Senior Counsel, Morrison & Foerster LLP

Chiraag Shah, Partner, Morrison & Foerster LLP

Catherine Musakali, Founding Partner, Dorion Associates

Plenary Moderator/Closing Remarks:

Roger Lesse, Partner, Clifford Chance

To watch this webinar, please click here

 

 

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