ILO provided a platform for knowledge sharing among social partners in EAC- IGAD Member States

The ILO is implementing a project “Free Movement of Persons and Transhumance in the IGAD Region: Improving Opportunities for Regular Labour Mobility” in collaboration with the IGAD Secretariat and financed by the European Union, Emergency Trust Fund (EUTF).

News | 22 October 2019
The FMPT project conducted a capacity building workshop for social partners from 14 to 17 October 2019, in Arusha, The United Republic of Tanzania. The workshop aimed at building the capacity of employers’ and workers’ organizations in IGAD region through their exposure to promising and successful practices from the sub regional employers’ and workers’ organizations in East Africa Community (EAC). About 40 participants, drawn from the EAC, East Africa Trade Union Confederation (EATUC) and East Africa Employers Organization (EAEO) and Social partners in IGAD Member States attended the four-day workshop.

The Arusha event is a follow up to the sub-regional workshop organized for social partners in May 2019 in Nairobi, Kenya. During the Nairobi workshop, participants expressed the need to have a tripartite engagement on sub regional matters and further reiterate the importance to strengthen the Horn of Africa Confederation Trade Union (HACTU) created in October 2018, and to support the establishment of an IGAD-wide Employers organization.
Mr. Musindo Welcoming workshop participants
The Arusha event provides a knowledge-sharing platform for workers and employers’ organizations on how they can collaborate towards regional integration and influence policies related to labour migration and mobility at regional level consistently with the ongoing discussion on free movement of persons within IGAD region. The ILO Director Mr. Musindo emphasized the fact that the voice and influence of social partners are crucial in the implementation of free movement of protocol. During the training, senior experts of the ILO from H.Q. Geneva, Cairo, Abuja and Africa Regional Office, as well as from EAEO, EATUC and IGAD
1. introduced the work of the ILO and the decent work agenda
2. highlighted the major Issues and challenges of Migration Governance in the IGAD region and Role of ILO Instruments (C97 and C143)
3. discussed the importance of Regional Integration Migration and Mobility in Africa: the Global and Regional Frameworks on Migration and the Role of Social Partners in Labour Migration and          Mobility Governance in the IGAD region
4. highlighted the role of social dialogue and tripartism, focusing on ILO’s instruments such as C98 on collective bargaining and C87 on the right to organize.
5. presented how IGAD functions and discussed about opportunities for further collaboration between social partners and IGAD through various national and regional platforms.

The Experts facilitated two parallel group discussions (one for employers’ organizations and the second for workers’ organizations) during which social partners in IGAD region identified strategic priority areas to engage with the IGAD Secretariat and build strong IGAD-level social partners. Participants reviewed the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats related to their national institutions, as well as the social partners organizations at IGAD level. During the parallel sessions, EAEO and EATUC shared their promising practices on how well they are closely collaborating with the EAC in realizing regional integration.

EAC and IGAD Member States social partners capacity building workshop participants

From the workers’ organizations group, participants underscored the fact that HACTU needs to first strengthen its internal structures and capacity and then build a close and good working relationship with IGAD, with the help of the ILO.

From the employers’ organizations group, participants elaborated on how EAEO operates and also shared some promising practices. The employers further discussed the establishment of an IGAD region employers’ organization, and reviewed the draft constitution forming the new borne institution. Additionally, it was agreed the Ethiopian Employers Federation to continue coordinating initial activities towards the establishment of the regional employers’ confederation.

At the end of the workshop, both EATUC and EAEO representatives highlighted the need to have convergence among social partners, i.e. between workers’ and employers’ organizations, to ensure the voices of social partners are heard in policy and decision making at IGAD level.

Participants appreciated the opportunity for the knowledge sharing platform provided by the ILO and underlined the need to share knowledge and strategize priorities between the East Africa and IGAD Members States, where three of the EAC members (Kenya, South Sudan, and Uganda) are also members of IGAD. The ILO will continue its supports to IGAD Member States and the sub regional social partners, under the EU funded project “Free Movement of Persons and Transhumance in the IGAD Region: Improving Opportunities for Regular Labour Mobility and Migration in the Region”.