African Trade Union Leaders deliberate on issues confronting Africa in a Regional Trade Union Conference in Nairobi, Kenya from 12 - 14 February 2014

Keywords : Climate Change And Environment Human and trade union rights Extending Social Protection Structural Transformation For Africa’s Development

Over 60 trade union delegates from around Africa are meeting from 12 - 14 February under the initiative of the ILO Bureau for Workers Activities (ACTRAV) and the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions in a three day Regional Conference under the theme: Global Development Agenda, Decent Work and Social Justice: Challenges for African Trade Union Movement.
The host organization of this conference is the Central Organization of Trade Unions (Kenya).

The conference comes at a time where the world is undergoing very difficult times. With very unstable economic projections, there is still not enough jobs being created, which leaves enough young persons out of work. According to the Director of ACTRAV, Maria Helena Andre in her remarks during the opening of the conference this morning, ’the working class is greatly affected by an economy that is based too much on informality, discrimination against women, migrant workers, young people and people with disabilities. This is coupled with a rise in corruption the world over.’ In her view, trade unions are not deemed to accepting this situation.There is therefore the need for trade unions to shape the development agenda based on high quality democracy, which in turn needs to be based on high level institutions.

In the view of the General Secretary of ITUC-Africa, Kwasi Adu-Amankwah, the paradox of the African continent - a very wealthy continent, yet the most impoverished with high levels of inequality certainly calls for a time of self reflection and indeed a time for constructive thinking on ways to combat the huge injustice in Africa. In his opinion, the meeting is a golden opportunity for trade unions to evaluate their historical past and determine the future of the labour movement. For him, the challenge for unions today is the need to rise up as the real force of influence and power that trade unions exerted during the pre independence era in Africa.

Among the themes to be discussed during the three days are:

- Organizing for union renewal in Africa
- Addressing the violations of trade union rights in Africa and beyond
- The politics of natural resources, trade and industrial policy in Africa
- The role of trade unions in the post-2015 development agenda
- Empowering Africa’s peoples with Decent Work
- The labor movement response to HIV and AIDS: challenges and opportunities
- Towards a new era for social justice in Africa
- Governance of labor migration and the protection of migrant workers
- Trade unions unification processes on the continent

The delegates of the conference include trade union leaders from fifty two African countries. Also present are the Regional Trade Union Organizations, ITUC-Africa and OATUU, the Sub Regional Organizations, EATUC and SATUCC as well as a notable number of observers and friends from the Global Union federations, the Employers Association and friends from the Norwegian Confederation of Trade unions.

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