ECOWAS meeting of Experts' and Ministers in charge of Labour and Employment (ECOWAS Social Dialogue Forum)

In order to strengthen dialogue, coordination and collaboration among Member States in the labour and Employment fields within the region, the ECOWAS Commission institutionalized the ECOWAS Ministers in charge of Labour and Employment meeting in 2006. In the same vain, ECOWAS established a Tripartite Forum of Social Dialogue in 2011 by the adoption of the Supplementary Act A / SQ.1/7 / 07/10. One of the main objectives of the Forum is to prevent and resolve conflicts, to promote peace and social stability, and stimulate socio-economic development and integration at the national and regional levels.



The theme for this year's meeting is ‘’Strengthening social dialogue for decent work in the ECOWAS region’’. The imperative to achieve Decent Work for ECOWAS citizens to warrants the need bring together the actors of the world of work, including Ministries of Labour and Employment in Member States, employers’ and workers’ organizations, civil society organizations and international partners to build consensus on a decent work and fair migration schemes that takes into account labour market needs, while protecting the interests and rights of all workers.

The uniqueness of this year’s meeting is that the General Assembly of the Social Dialogue Forum will serve as the meeting of Labour and Employment Experts in the run up to the Meeting of the sectoral Ministers. It will serve as an opportunity to address topical issues related to social dialogue, to present new innovations in regional policies, to share national experiences in collective bargaining, develop and revise the Forum's action plans.

Indeed, the adoption of a number of administrative, programmatic and legal measures to better ensure the applicability of the labour laws with all of the issues they encompass, justify the Ministerial meeting’ activities of this year with a view to realising the ECOWAS Vision 2020, which is to transform the “ECOWAS of States to an ECOWAS of people.”


The next meetings of the Labour and Employment Experts and Ministers of Labour and Employment Sectors will :

i. To strengthen the collaboration between ECOWAS and Ministries in charge of Labour and Employment

ii. Review, validate and adopt following the documents :
- ECOWAS Labour and Employment Policy and its new Strategic Action Plan;
- Draft Directive on harmonization of labour laws in ECOWAS region;
- Memorandum for discussion on restructuring of the ECOWAS Tripartite Social Dialogue Forum;
- ECOWAS Decent Work Regional Program (DWRP), and;

iii. To build consensus on topical labour issues;

iv. Adopt the recommendations from the working groups on labour migration and social protection;

v. Share best practices on labour and employment issues across the ECOWAS region.


• Panel Discussion
• Paper Presentation
• Plenary Sessions with all the participants
• Group Discussion


- Collaboration between ECOWAS and Ministries in charge of Labour and Employment enhanced
- Tools for promoting decent work and employment in the region strengthened
- Consensus on topical labour issues built;
- Recommendations from the working groups on labour migration and social protection adopted


- Meeting of the Experts 16-18 July, 2019


The meetings General Assembly of the Tripartite Forum of the ECOWAS Social Dialogue (Experts meeting) and the meeting of the Ministers of Labour and Employment Sectors will take place in Abuja, Nigeria