About the region


The main objectives of the International Labour Organization (ILO) in Africa are to promote rights at work, encourage decent employment opportunities, enhance social protection and strengthen dialogue on work-related issues.

ILO History in Africa

The first office of the ILO in Africa was established in 1959 in Lagos, Nigeria. In 1965 the ILO was the first UN agency to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Organization for African Unity (OAU), now called the African Union.

Way forward

Africa’s population is rising the fastest. The pressure to provide decent work opportunities for new labour market entrants will be particularly acute in Africa.

The ILO in the region has given priority to promoting employment in the rural and informal economies, and underscored the need for action to tackle youth unemployment. Building the capacity of its constituents to contribute more effectively to the achievement of equitable and inclusive growth is a major urgency.

Promoting more and better jobs for inclusive growth, the rural economy, formalizing the informal economy are addressing the needs of African economies. Greater focus is also dedicated to implementing labour migration policies, providing skills in the rural sector and the SMEs as well as making social protection floors a reality in Africa.