ILO and ECOWAS to develop a Decent Work Programme for West Africa

The ILO and the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) agreed to formulate a first Sub-Regional Decent Work Programme.

Communiqué de presse | 12 février 2016
DAKAR (ILO News) – The International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) committed on February 10, 2016 in Dakar, Senegal to design and implement a first Sub-Regional Decent Work Programme (SRDWP).

The Sub-Regional Program will address many challenges that inhibited growth and development in West Africa including youth employment, labour migration, social protection and child labour.

Mr Dennis Zulu, Director of ILO Country Office for Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone, in his remarks, explained that the formulation of the ECOWAS Sub-Regional DWP, to begin in March 2016, will provide a demand driven, coherent and integrated framework for ILO support to ECOWAS priorities.

The six strategic priorities of ECOWAS are to achieve poverty reduction and create employment; promote good governance; to develop Infrastructure; to deepen economic and monetary integration; to reinforce institutional capacity and to strengthen the mechanism for integration into the global market.

Speaking on behalf of the Regional Director for Africa, Ms Cynthia Samuel-Olonjuwon reiterated the readiness of the ILO Regional Office for Africa (ROAF) to support and collaborate with all Regional Economic Commissions (RECs), especially ECOWAS, to implement the resolutions of the African Regional Meeting (ARM) 2015.

Mr Francois Murangira, Director of the ILO Decent Work Team for Dakar, assured the commitment of all the ILO offices in the sub-region towards the formulation of the ECOWAS Decent Work Programme.

Both organizations – ECOWAS was represented by Commissioner for Social Affairs and Gender, Dr. Fatimata Dia Sow - agreed to revamp the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that was signed between the ILO and ECOWAS in 2005.

The ILO Country Director for Cote d’Ivoire, Mr Dramane Haidara, emphasized that an agreement was reached to draw up a Joint Action Plan that would help the three ILO Country Offices in the sub-region to work together to make ECOWAS Decent Work Programme a reality.