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12th Regional Seminar for Labour-Based Practitioners. Theme: Prioritising Employment Creation in government Policies and Investments in Infrastructure Programmes

Durban, South Africa 8 - 12 October 2007

The 12th Regional Seminar for Labour-Based Practitioners was held from the 8th to the 12th October 2007 in Durban South Africa. This Seminar under the theme �Prioritizing Employment in Government Policies and Investments in Infrastructure Programmes� focused on key development issues that increase the impact of investments and government programmes on employment creation. Investments, both public and private, domestic and foreign direct, drive employment creation, both directly and indirectly.

The 12th Regional Seminar provided the opportunity to link developmental and political commitments in the fields of employment, investment and infrastructure to three concrete areas of action, namely:

1. Assessing the impact of investment policies and government programmes on employment creation;

2. Linking social protection, basic income guarantees and job creation through productive and high-quality infrastructure development; and

3. Taking new strides in favour of private sector support to employment creation, both through small-scale domestic enterprise development and through integrating employment creation into the economic and financial strategies of those offering and receiving foreign direct investment.

The Regional Seminar, held every two years, brings together practitioners, planners, policy makers, researchers, funding and development partners � and all others involved in infrastructure development from the African region and beyond to discuss developments, share experience and ideas on the application of employment-intensive approaches in the delivery of essential infrastructure. The objective of the seminar is thus to facilitate sharing, learning and expanding of knowledge through presentation, discussion and debate on the state of the art of policy, practice, research and development.

The 12th Regional Seminar drew over 450 delegates from over 27 countries. An ILO discussion paper �Making infrastructure investments employment friendly� (PDF 595 KB) set the scene for the event, in which 32 papers were presented to stimulate debate and share knowledge. At the conclusion of the event the delegates drew up the Durban Statement (PDF 77.3 KB) in which they resolved to, among other things, continue to pursue the development and operationalisation of coherent policy and institutional frameworks that support employment-intensive investments. They further committed to develop tools and methodologies for employment impact assessments to support the increased allocation of resources in investment plans and budgets to interventions that have high potential for the creation of employment opportunities.

A parallel Ministerial Meeting was held during the Seminar in which 12 Ministers of Labour and Public Works from Angola, Botswana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe critically reviewed and discussed the potential of infrastructure and service delivery in creating decent productive employment opportunities, and its impact on poverty reduction, social cohesion and political stability. Following their meeting the Ministers issued a Ministerial statement (link to ministerial statement) in which they reaffirmed their commitment and support towards optimizing employment creation in the delivery of essential infrastructure and service delivery.

Following the 11th Regional seminar in Mombasa in October 2005, for Labour-based Practitioners on "Integrating Labour-based Approach (LBA) for Socio-Economic Development", a resolution was made in the form of the "Mombasa Statement" to uphold, mainstream, and upscale the use of LBA in the provision of infrastructure and related services in order to create wealth especially among the poor communities. The following country reports were prepared by the respective countries in preparation for the 12th regional seminar in Durban in October 2007. They provide an overview of the state of LBA and indicate progress made towards the Mombasa Statement in the respective countries.

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Last update: 1 November 2007^ top