Exploring Decent Work in the Pharmaceutical Industry

Job creation in the production of medical cannabis in Lesotho and Zimbabwe

“Exploring decent work in the pharmaceutical industry: Job creation in the production of medical cannabis in Lesotho and Zimbabwe” is the title of a book that has just been completed and which presents findings of a research project.

The project was carried out by the International Labour Organization under the direction of Sabrina De Gobbi. The research was conducted in collaboration with the National University of Lesotho and the University of Zimbabwe which were instrumental for primary data collection. Dr. Motselisi Mokhethi led the research team of the national University of Lesotho.

The book tries to understand whether medical cannabis can indeed create jobs and wealth, particularly in comparison with tobacco, of which the medicinal plant is deemed to be a substitute. It also explores the extent to which medical cannabis production and foreign investment in this area can be beneficial to domestic pharmaceutical industries. Lastly, labour and environmental standards applied in the pharmaceutical sector are assessed, considering also the performance of multinational companies or foreign-owned enterprises, especially in the medical cannabis industry. Thanks to such an assessment, it is possible to draw conclusions on decent work deficits in the pharmaceutical sector of the two countries.

To disseminate research findings and stemming recommendations and policy implications for Lesotho, in October 2021, a national webinar is being organised, where representatives of the government, employers and workers as well as national stakeholders will be invited. Attendees may include policy makers, pharmaceutical companies’ owners and employees, students and faculty of pharmaceutical university programmes and related disciplines, international agencies, donors and investors which are relevant in Lesotho.


09.00 – 09.10 Opening remarks
Maria Machailo-Molebatsi, Senior Employers’ Specialist, ILO Pretoria
ALEB representative (TBC)
09.10 – 09.20 Introduction to research project
Maria Sabrina De Gobbi, Economist, Research Department, ILO Geneva
09.20 – 09.45 Presentation of research findings on Lesotho
Dr. Motselisi Christine Mokhethi, National University of Lesotho
Dr. Regina Thetsane, National University of Lesotho
09.45 - 10.15 Questions and answers
Audience + Dr. Mokhethi + Ms. De Gobbi
10.15 – 10.25 Concluding remarks
Maria Machailo-Molebatsi, Senior Employers’ Specialist, ILO Pretoria


ILO Geneva ILO Pretoria
Sabrina de Gobbi degobbi@ilo.org
Alessandro Ippolito ippolitoneira@iloguest.org
Sipho Ndlovu: ndlovu@ilo.org
Tshepo Mohatle: mohatle@ilo.org