Johannesburg (ILO news) - African leaders, labour ministers, social partners, experts and development partners from 54 countries will discuss ways to accelerate the implementation of the Decent Work Agenda for Africa 2007-15 and respond efficiently to a jobless economic recovery, at a meeting of the International Labour Organization (ILO) which opens here on 11 October.
The 12th African Regional Meeting which takes place for the first time in South Africa will be attended by President Jacob Zuma of the Republic of South Africa and Minister Mildred Oliphant, South African Minister of Labour as well as President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea and current Chairperson of the African Union, Mr. Gilbert Fossoun Houngbo, Prime Minister of the Republic of Togo and Mr. Juan Somavia, Director-General of the International Labour Office.
The recent political and social uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) have brought to the fore the daunting problem of youth unemployment in a number of African countries – many of which are battling with youth unemployment rates among the highest in the world.
The regional platform - hosted by South Africa - is being held at a critical time when African economies have been resilient to the global financial and economic crisis. However, the rebound of economic growth across the region has still not managed to reduce poverty, unemployment and underemployment.
A major challenge to Africa’s development strategy is the pace of recovery in the continent’s trading and development partners. Sustainable recovery in Africa will continue to be threatened unless there is recovery in the European Union and North America economies. One of the policy challenges for Africa in the global post-crisis economic recovery is the adoption of a framework that allows coherence between the objectives of growth and the generation of employment and decent work.
This African Regional Meeting will further review and discuss – with key participants from the UN Economic Commission for Africa, African Union, UN agencies, European Union, African Development Bank, World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), donor countries, trade unions, the private sector, civil society organizations - a variety of policy recommendations, including:
- The Report of the ILO Director-General, Mr. Juan Somavia and how best to empower Africa’s peoples with Decent Work
- A Special Debate moderated on Efficient Growth, Employment and Decent Work in Africa: Time for a new vision
- A Special Focus on a newly joint initiative of the African Union, the UN Economic Commission for Africa, the African Development for Africa and the ILO on Promoting Employment and Decent Work for Youth
- A Special Focus on Achieving Women’s Economic and Social Empowerment and Gender Equality in the presence of Ms Christine Mwelwa Kaseba-Sata, First Lady of the Republic of Zambia
- The new role of the Social Economy in moving out of informality in Africa
- Rural Employment, Industrial Development, Social Transformation – a path to Decent Work
- Social Dialogue: A key Governance Mechanism for Decent Work in Africa
- Building Social Protection Floor in Africa: Follow-up to the Yaounde Tripartite Declaration
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