Fola is a South African trained lawyer, currently working as a privacy lawyer in a multinational company in Canada. His current research interests are in exploring inequality within the space of digital technology. He is interested in the idea that the most prized asset in the age of capitalism and globalization is our personal data.
Fola's human rights experience spans across multiple jurisdictions. In South Africa, he was the Head of Research of the South African Human Rights Commission where he led the monitoring and report on South Africa's compliance with its human rights obligations at various UN bodies. In Canada, he is a Commissioner for the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission.
Prior to joining the South African Human Rights Commission, Fola was a Clinical Advocacy Fellow at Harvard Law School supervising clinical projects on business and human rights. Fola was also a Fulbright visiting scholar with the Center for Sustainable Investment at Columbia University. He clerked at the Supreme Court of Appeal, South Africa, and worked at the Open Democracy Advice Centre, where his human rights work spanned across Africa.
Fola has published widely in the area of corporate accountability, open government, privacy and human rights in the marketplace. His book International Investment Law and Policy in Africa: Exploring a Human Rights Based Approach to Investment Regulation and Dispute Settlement was published by Routledge in October 2017. It explores a human rights-based approach to investment regulation in Africa.
He holds a PhD from Wits University in International Economic Law and a LLM degree from the University of Cape Town. He was selected as one of 25 young Africans in the inaugural Leading in Public Life fellowship and was part of the 2015 Mo Ibrahim residential school on governance for development in Africa.
In understanding the role of corporations in addressing inequality, the duty of corporations can no longer be a duty to avoid harm but should extend to a positive obligation to protect people, communities and the environment. Consequently, global issues such as tax evasion and profit shifting, which have detrimental effect on state economies and are contributors to global inequality, need to receive our attention as important ways of addressing inequality.