The Fifth Regional Seminar for Labour-based Practitioners

Seminar theme was 'Labour-based contracting'

The seminar had three main objectives:
  1. To bring together practitioners in labour-based roadworks so that they can exchange experiences
  2. To update participants on policies and programmes in labour-based roadworks in Sub-Saharan Africa
  3. To identify and debate key issues relating to labour- based contracting.
The first two objectives are common to all the regional seminars while the third objective focuses on the main theme of this specific seminar.
Labour-based contracting
Contracting of road maintenance tasks is to an increasing extent replacing force account systems all over the world. In Africa, several countries are presently contracting out a main part of their road maintenance works. These countries are: Burkina Faso, C.A.R., Cameroon, Chad, Comores, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Madagascar, Senegal, South Africa, Uganda, and Zaire. Other countries may follow their example, in line with a general shift from the public to the private sector. The introduction of labour-based contracting is a means to develop the local private sector and to create employment. It allows the public sector to concentrate on its core tasks. However, experience suggests that to introduce sustainable labour-based contracting, many issues need to be taken into account. These include training, credit facilities, regularity of orders, contract documentation, selection of contractors, and the provision of equipment. Various projects and programmes in Sub-Saharan Africa have involved labour-based contracting, with varying degrees of success. The time is therefore appropriate to exchange experiences and draw conclusions.