IGAD launches the process towards the establishment of a sectoral committee on labour and employment

News | 02 June 2021
On 01 June 2021, the IGAD secretariat, with ILO technical support, organized an Experts virtual meeting to deliberate on the relevance and feasibility of establishing an IGAD committee on Labour and Employment. The meeting, a first of a series of planned technical consultations between the IGAD Secretariat, IGAD Member States and ILO, will culminate with the IGAD Ministerial Conference for Ministers of Labour and Employment. The Ministerial meeting is scheduled to take place in Djibouti early July.

Over 50 experts, mainly from Ministries of Labour from IGAD Member States participate at this inaugural meeting. In addition and as part of the South-South Cooperation, labour experts from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and East African Community (EAC) as well as the African Union Commission (AUC) participated, sharing their insights on coordinating tripartite labour and employment issues at sub regional and continental levels.

The proposed IGAD Ministerial Employment and Labour committee, once established, should become a space for ministers of labour and employment to regularly engage in policy dialogue and provide strategic guidance for the implementation of IGAD policies and priorities on labour and employment. Such a platform will also enable Member States to take common positions in international flora such as the ILO International Labour Conference and the AU STCs focussing on labour issues.

Mme Fathia Alwan, Director, Health and Social Development at IGAD Secretariat said, in her opening remarks that the creation of such a committee would complement IGAD institutional architecture by availing a platform to discuss challenges related to labour and employment, and deliberate on issues of common concern.

On his part Mr. Alexio Musindo, Director, ILO Country Office for Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan, stated that common challenges related to the world of work in the IGAD region could be addressed through concerted efforts of various actors at all levels. This stresses the need for regular consultation and engagement among Ministers responsible for Labour and Employment of IGAD Member States and social partners to discuss challenges, opportunities and devise strategies to promote decent and productive work opportunities for citizens in the region and beyond.

Experts from IGAD Member States welcomed the idea of such a committee, which would support the implementation of Article 9 and 10 of the IGAD Free movement of Persons Protocol pertaining to labour mobility.

The next Experts’ Meeting will take place on 24 June 2021 to discuss about IGAD Guidelines on Bilateral Labour Agreements, drafted with support from the ILO under the framework of the ILO project on Free Movement of Persons and Transhumance in the IGAD Region: Improving Opportunities for Regular Labour Mobility (FMPT) project financed by the European Union.