WITNESS Trains on Video Advocacy at Sustainability and Corporate Accountability Summit in South Africa

On July 6-7 2016, the African Coalition for Corporate Accountability (ACCA) held his 3rd General Assembly in Pretoria, South Africa. During the conference WITNESS presented on the use of video in an advocacy campaigns to mobilize communities for social change and to seek justice.

Photo: Isabelle Mbaye

Session on “Access to Remedy” University of Pretoria, July 7th 2016. Photo: Isabelle Mbaye

The conference gathered more than 80 NGOs, community based organizations, civil society organizations and legal practitioners, all working in the field of human rights, extractive industry and environment.  Participants attended from all over Africa, including strong representation from  South Africa, DRC, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Nigeria. The attendees from countries such as Liberia, South Africa, DRC and Kenya, are facing land grabbing and forced evictions by big companies, environmental problems affecting local communities (Liberia, DRC), poor working conditions and sexual exploitation (Liberia, DRC).  

During this two day event, participants discussed the conference theme of access to remedy, the proposed treaty on business and human rights, development finance, and video advocacy.

WITNESS’ presentation covered the strategic use of video to change policies, practices, behaviors, and laws whilst acknowledging  the strengths and limitations of video for advocacy purposes.  The presentation included information on how to create a Video Advocacy Plan to clearly establish  the purpose of the video and how to determine the audience, all while considering safety and security.

Forced evictions were also part of the presentation through a case study on former WITNESS partners, CEMIRIDE and  the Endorois, an indigenous community in Kenya that was forcibly evicted from their land by the Kenyan government. This case was particularly topical since video from the advocacy campaign video was later used as evidence at the African Commission of Human and Peoples’ Rights.

Participants were very eager to learn more about video advocacy to understand  how it can be used effectively within existing advocacy campaigns.


“This session on the use of video was very beneficial for us because we have an idea of how we can do it now, we would like to deliver a message in our advocacy campaign using this medium and also we have learnt what key points should be delivered in a video for these few minutes would be calling out, heart touching to the audience to lead them to give us answers or actions.”

– Alexis Muhima Shinja from Observatoire de la Societe Civile Congolaise pour les Minerais de Paix (OSCMP)


“The use of video advocacy will be helpful, especially when it comes to land grabbing. In my country, Liberia, there are a lot of companies, mostly oil companies that are grabbing communities land so we need to use video to show evidence to the world on what the companies are doing that are not in the interest of local communities”

– Lawrence Moore, Green Advocates

The African Coalition for Corporate Accountability is growing and strengthening, the next General Assembly will be held in May 2017.

– Isabelle Mbaye

To learn more about WITNESS resources visit Library.witness.org. The access resources in French, visit Fr.WITNESS.org.



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