Towards Equity in Natural Resources Development

Africa is rich in natural resources with great potential to boost economic growth. ILO calls for an integrated approach to job-rich development of natural resources with a combination of top-down and bottom-up policies.

News | 19 October 2012

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) presented a landmark Issue Paper at the Pre-Event of the Eighth edition of the African Development Forum (ADF VIII) held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 23-25 October 2012.

Under the theme “Governing and Harnessing Natural Resources for Africa’s Development”, ADF-VIII highlighted key aspects of mineral, land, forestry and fishery resources management and development.

The ILO Issue Paper presented a set of strategic issues related to labour in natural resources, with particular focus on land and agriculture, mining, oil and gas, fisheries, and the forestry sector. Youth employment was taken into consideration as a cross-cutting issue.

Vertical top-down national policies to promote employment and improve decent work in different sectors are already on the agenda of governments, and should be strengthened, suggested the ILO.

There is an opportunity to integrate them at the regional level, through the African Union Commission and the ILO, and this should be pursued. At the same time, there are horizontal linkages between sectors, particularly at the local level. This leads to local growth, promoting economic and social development in Africa from a bottom-up approach, noted the ILO.

The combination of top-down and bottom-up policies will entail an integrated approach to job-rich development of natural resources, as opposed to unconnected fragmented activities. Such an integrated approach, with decent work as a main feature can make a difference in Africa, concluded the UN specialized Agency.

ADF-VIII was designed to raise awareness and cultivate deeper understanding of the role of Africa’s natural resources governance in its economic transformation.

ADF VIII: Governing and harnessing natural resources for Africa’s Development