28-29 September 2017

The Future of Work We Want: Workers’ perspective in the Sub-saharan African countries

The conference will bring together workers’ leaders, voices from academia, governments and employers from across the region to discuss the profound transformations and challenges faced by the world of work today and in the future.

All sessions of the event will be webcast on Facebook . You can also join the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag: #ILOFOW.

The conference will contribute to the Future of Work Centenary Initiative from a trade union perspective based on the unique issues faced by the countries from the Sub-saharan region and discussing possible policy responses, both of governments and social partners, as a means to promoting and protecting the rights of working men and women.


Increasingly, over the last decades, there have been profound changes in the world of work in the economies across the world, both in developed and developing countries.

These changes are driven by a number of factors: globalization and technological innovation, leading to changes in production; greater inequality, polarization and exclusion within labour markets; demographic shifts, including migration; climate change; and, since 2008, economic stagnation.

There are widespread concerns regarding the impact of these social and economic transformations on workers in particular. In order to respond to this it will require a deeper reflection on the role workers have in society, a task not only limited to developed countries, since these transformations manifest themselves in every country and region. Developing countries in particular will be affected by the fast-evolving relocation trends challenging them in the future.

Hence, in 2013 the International Labour Organisation launched the Future of Work Centenary Initiative. Within the initiative, this regional conference is an important step to gain greater understanding of the changes we are witnessing and to develop effective policy responses, also from a gender perspective, that may offset the negative outcomes affecting workers.

The conference is structured around the Initiative’s four “Centenary Conversations” proposed by the Director-General:
  • Work and society;
  • Decent jobs for all;
  • The organization of work and production;
  • The governance of work.

Programme and Participants

Thursday 28 September

09:00-09:30 Registration

09:30-10:15 Inauguration

  • Ms Cynthia Samuel-Olonjuwon, Deputy Regional Director for Africa
  • Ms Maria Helena Andre, Director, ILO/ACTRAV
  • Mr Guy Ryder, Director-General, ILO (video)

10:45-13:00-Dialogue 1: Work and Society

Moderator: Anna Biondi, Deputy Director of ACTRAV

  • Professor Edward Webster, Society Work and Development Institute, University of Witwatersrand
  • Ms Nobuntu Sibisi, Head of Programmes, NEDLAC South Africa
  • Ms Tanya Cohen, Chief Executive Officer, Business Unity South Africa (BUSA)
Participants Contributions:
  • Mr Garikanai Shoko (Building Workers International)
  • Mr Adams Barasa (Kenya)
  • Mr Modeste Ndongala (RDCongo)

14:00-15:00 Setting up a future that fits everyone: giving a new role to politics

By Honourable Nilisiwe Mildred Oliphant, Minister of Labour, Republic of South Africa

15:00-16:45 Dialogue 2. Decent Work for All

Moderator: Mr Joni Musabayana, Director ILO/DWT Pretoria

  • Honourable Dr Chris Ngige, Minister, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Federal Republic of Nigeria
  • Mr Limpho Mandoro, Senior Specialist Social Dialogue, ILO DWT Pretoria
  • Dr Godfrey Kanyenze, Director, Labour and Economic Development Research Institute of Zimbabwe
  • Ms Mary Makoffu, Director, East African Community Secretariat
Participants’ contributions:
  • Mr Dennis George (South Africa)
  • Mr Yves Kodibo (Cote d'Ivoire)
  • Mr Peter Werikhe (Uganda)
  • Mr John Odah (OTUWA)
  • Ms Caroline Mugalla (EATUC)

17:00-18:00-Special Dialogue 2: The Agenda 2030: A Way to Promote a Future of Work based in sustainable development

Ms Maria Helena Andre, Director, ILO/ACTRAV

  • Mr Kwasi Adu-Amankwah, General Secretary, ITUC Africa
  • Mr Arezki Mezhoud, Secretary General, OATUU
  • Mr Wellington Chibebe, Deputy Secretary General, ITUC Brussels

Friday 28 September

9:00-9:15-The Future of Work Starts now

By Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of ITUC (Video)

09:15-11:15 Dialogue 3: The Organization of Work and Production

 Mohammed Mwamadzingo, Regional Desk Officer for Africa, ACTRAV Geneva

  • Professor Fred Otieno, Vice-Chancellor, Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology
  • Dr Trywell Kalusopa, Lecturer, University of Zululand
  • Dr Alves D’Almada Fernando Jorge, Economic Community for West African States
  • Professor Akua O. Britwum, Director, Centre for Gender Research, Advocacy and Documentation, University of Cape Coast
Participants’ contributions:
  • Mr Gadzani Mhotsha (Botswana)
  • Mr Damiao Simango (Mozambique)
  • Mr Peter Mutasa (Zimbabwe)
  • Ms Crecentia Mofokeng, Coordinator, Global Union Federation-Africa Region

11:30-13:30 Dialogue 4: The Governance of Work

Moderator: Ms Cynthia Samuel-Olonjuwon, Deputy Regional Director for Africa

  • Professor Crispen Chinguno, Society Work and Development Institute, University of Witwatersrand
  • Ms Rabiatou Serah Diallo, President, High-level National Social and Economic Council, Guinea
  • Mr Mthunzi Mdwaba, Employer Spokesperson, ILO Governing Body
Participants’ contributions:
  • Mr Ayuba Wabba (Nigeria)
  • Mr Modéste Ndongala (Democratic Republic of the Congo)
  • Mr Cosmas Mukuka (Zambia)
  • Mr Garikanai Shoko (Building Workers International)
  • Mr Narius Moloto (South Africa)

14:15- 15:45 Closing

  • Nicolas Niemtchinow, Assistant Director-General, DDG/P, Geneva (video)
  • Maria Helena Andre, Director, ILO ACTRAV Geneva