AU adopts the proposal for a Decent Work for the Transformation of the Informal Economy programme (AUC-ILO)

The African Union Third Session of the Specialised Technical Committee on Social Development, Labour and Employment (STC-SDLE-3) adopted the proposal for the Decent Work for the Transformation of the Informal Economy programme.

Press release | Addis Ababa, Ethiopia | 05 April 2019
Addis Ababa (ILO News) - The African Union Third Session of the Specialised Technical Committee on Social Development, Labour and Employment (STC-SDLE-3) adopted the proposal for the Decent Work for the Transformation of the Informal Economy programme (AUC-ILO).

This regional programme, jointly designed by the African Union Commission (AUC) and the ILO is aimed at supporting the AUC in providing leadership, guidance and a framework for enhancing strategic coherence, collaboration and coordination in efforts towards the transformation of the informal economy in Africa, with Decent Work Agenda as the underpinning premise.

The Third Session of the STC-SDLE, which run from  1-5 April 2019, deliberated on a number of strategies for poverty reduction policies at national and regional levels towards social development through empowering the vulnerable and marginalized groups to improve their access to livelihood opportunities. Such strategies include the Draft Implementation Report of the African Decade on Disability, the Draft Replacement Policy Document of the Continental Plan of Action on the African Decade of Persons with Disabilities (2010 – 2019), the Draft Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights of Citizens to Social Protection, Social Security, the Draft AU Social Agenda 2063, the Draft Ten Year Action Plan to Eradicate Child Labour, Forced Labour, Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery.

Speaking at the opening of the Ministers of Labour Meeting of the STC-SDLE-3, Ms. Cynthia Samuel-Olonjuwon, the ILO Assistant Director General and Regional Director for Africa, underlined that the African Union remains the most important strategic partner of the ILO in Africa and that in line with the conclusions of the 13th Africa Regional Meeting held in 2015, the ILO aligns its decent work priorities with the continental decent work priorities articulated in the AU Agenda 2063 and the 2015 AU Declaration and Plan of Action on Employment, Poverty Eradication and Inclusive Development (Ouagadougou + 10). Hence the ILO will continue working towards even better collaboration and coordination to build on the comparative advantage of each organization.

Talking about the proposed regional programme, Mr. Philippe Marcadent, Chief of ILO’s Inclusive Labour Markets, Labour Relations and Working Conditions Branch, explained that the overall development objective of this AUC-ILO joint programme is the reduction of decent work deficits in the informal economy in Africa through progressive transition to formality. The AUC-ILO joint regional programme will pursue three strategic outcomes: Knowledge production, Communication and advocacy on informal economy transformation; enhancing the capacity of AUC, RECs, Member States and social partners, including informal economy actors and units, to facilitate gender-sensitive informal economy transformation; and the development and implementation of integrated policies, strategies & institutional frameworks, at national/ sectoral level or targeting specific vulnerable categories of workers, in particular women and youth, or economic units. By setting up a structure for monitoring and evaluation of such initiatives, Member States can learn from each other on what works for the formalisation of the informal economy in various contexts in the region.

Following the adoption by the STC-SDLE-3, the proposed regional programme will be finalized in consultation with AU Member States under the guidance of AUC and ILO. It is expected that the 5-year programme will be operational by the beginning of the year 2020.

More information on the AUC-ILO decent work for the transformation of the informal Economy in Africa: Mr. Oumar Diop, Senior Policy Officer, Social Affairs Department, AUC, diopo@africa-union.org; Ms. Annamarie K. Kiaga, ILO Specialist on Informal Economy, kiaga@ilo.org.