Regional development

Ryder: Time to turn Africa’s dynamism into social progress

In his first official visit to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, ILO Director-General Guy Ryder stresses the importance of youth employment, social dialogue and green jobs in the future development of Africa.

News | 13 December 2013
GENEVA – The challenge for Africa is to turn its current dynamism into social progress and jobs for young people, said ILO Director-General Guy Ryder during his first official visit to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.

“We also have to make sure that investment works for the overall goal of giving our young people a future with decent work that they deserve,” Ryder told participants to the National Employment Forum in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

During a nine-day trip that took him to Tanzania, Mozambique and Zambia, Ryder met political leaders, social and development partners, and visited ILO programmes on the ground, such as a youth employment project in Zanzibar.

In Tanzania, he also participated in the inauguration of the new premises of the Trade Union Congress of Tanzania (TUCTA) and attended the 2013 ceremony of the Association of Tanzanian Employers (ATE).

In Mozambique, Ryder visited the CCT (Labour Consultative Commission), the national tripartite body responsible for social dialogue in the country, where he highlighted the significance of promoting social dialogue in the area of social, economic and labour policies.

Ryder also met with representatives of local and foreign companies engaged in Extractive Industries – a fast emerging sector that many believe could turn Mozambique into a middle-income country by 2025. He talked about the ILO’s promotion of the decent work agenda by supporting the development of skills and business services, so that both workers and employers can enjoy the benefits of more inclusive growth.

The last leg of the trip took him to Zambia, where he launched two ILO-led UN programmes: the Zambia Green Jobs in the Construction Sector, and the Rural Youth Employment Programme.

“The Zambia Green Jobs Programme will create 5,000 new green jobs by 2017 through strengthening enterprise competitiveness and promoting sustainable business among Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) along the building construction value chain in Zambia," he said.

The Rural Youth Employment Programme aims to facilitate the creation of at least 3,000 new jobs for young people and to improve financial performance of at least 5,000 youth owned-managed rural enterprises.

He also joined the Zambian minister of Labour and Social Security, Fackson Shamenda, in signing the country’s second Decent Work Country Program (DWCP), and inaugurated the new Zambia Jobs Portal.

Last May, Ryder attended the official ceremony of the 50th Anniversary of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) – African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa, where he reaffirmed the ILO’s readiness to support Africa’s renaissance and socio-economic agenda.

For further information, interview requests and photo ops, please contact: Guebray Berhane, ILO Regional Office for Africa:, Tel: +251911218115 –