By Michael Oche
The General Conference of the International Labour Organization,
Having been convened at Geneva by the Governing Body of the International Labour Office, and having met in its 106th Session on 5 June 2017, and
Reaffirming the principle in the Constitution of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) that universal and lasting peace can be established only if it is based upon social justice, and
Three decades of implementation of the Structural Adjustments Programmes failed to either bring structural changes to African economies
or address key structural constraints. The SAPs have rather deepened the primary commodity export-dependence that Africa inherited
from colonialism and increased vulnerabilities to volatile world primary commodities prices. Moreover, the open trade, investment and
financial regimes and policies have had little impact on wealth creation and led to substantial accumulation of wealth in the hands of the
few outside the continent. Trade liberalization has exposed indigenous industries to unfair competition from abroad leading to deindustrialization
and loss of high quality manufacturing sector jobs and degradation of domestic productive capacity. Together with extensive
retrenchment of public sector workers, this has increased the rate of informalization and joblessness.
ITUC-Africa acknowledges that Climate Change is one of the most pressing issues confronting society today. Whilst all continents will be
affected by this phenomenon, developing countries are likely to be the hardest hit and people living in poverty the most affected.
The Climate Change Strategy Paper for Trade Unions in Africa emphasizes that human activities, particularly the emissions of carbon
dioxide, are the dominant cause of global warming, bringing about climate change. Other studies underline the fact that climate change
poses a moderate threat to today’s development and a severe threat to future sustainable development .
The youth constitutes the greater percentage of the African population and are often the most severely affected by unemployment, an inadequate allocation of government resources for education and training, and the exploitation and discrimination in workplace, resulting in many of them the alienation of the society in which they live in.
The relatively low level of union membership among young workers means they are often deprived of the protection, information and training provided by unions. For this, ITUC-Africa has set as its objective ‘Young workers to become an integral part of trade unions’ and have developed activities to help achieve this objective…
Africa is experiencing a degradation of the fundamentals of unionism which hampers development and leads to a decline in the trade union movement.
In view of this situation it is imperative for trade union organizations to fully assume their role as the only large movement not only capable of taking into account the real interest of workers, but also as actors in economic and social development, hence a force for change.
The majority of African’s population remain vulnerable and excluded from social protection benefits which can guarantee better living and
working conditions. The extent of the social protection deficit in Africa, especially with respect to health coverage, income protection and
unemployment benefits is huge and results in massive poverty. Only 3 out of 54 African countries have ratified Convention 102 on social
protection; 4 have ratified Convention 183 on maternity protection; and 2 have ratified Convention 189 on domestic workers.
“Our values are : Respect, Diversity, Solidarity and Partnership”
Migration remains and will continue to be a historic human phenomenon that can neither be stopped nor simply wished away. Similarly, over the past two decades, migration has become an issue of global concern (Murrugarra et al. 2011). Though migration is viewed in some quarters as a crisis, conceivably the recognition of the potential contribution of migration and migrants to socio-economic development is a major reason for the importance being attached to migration by increasing number of governments in developing countries (Ajaero and Onokala 2013), such as those in Africa. Indeed, the global labour market is characterized by labour migration and workplaces today are composed of various nationalities. The inclusion of migration in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS) is even a global recognition of the potential of migration to promote socio-economic development if it is well managed.
In recent times, governments and other stakeholders, including trade unions, have been under intense pressure to deliver in the face of large movements of people at a scale not seen since the Second World War. In particular, since 2008, many nations have been battered, directly or indirectly, by a series of crises including the financial crises and the refugee and migrant crisis (as some people may prefer to describe it). In fact, the migration phenomenon, in its broader sense, and its consequences are perhaps the key defining characteristics of the contemporary global society. It is both a source of great opportunity in terms of economic gains and cross cultural fertilization as well as being a source of conflict and populist political debate. Clearly, the recent processes and initiatives to adopt the Global Compact on Migration (GCM) as driven by the United Nations as one of the responses to the migration phenomenon is a recognition of the importance of migration.
The rise and seemingly endless sectarian conflicts, as well as the new and shocking phenomenon of extremism on the continent are posing
serious challenges for the security of people and their properties. The growing insecurity, fragile peace and apparently weak stability
situation in the worst hit countries largely result from the armed and violent conflicts. In most cases, ethnic, religious, communal sentiments,
as well as the preservation of influence and dominance have been displayed in these needless and avoidable conflicts aimed at securing
power and control for supposedly dominant and militarily strong parties. They are leading to the erosion of opportunities for the actualisation
of individual and communal potentials.
Echoes from ITUC-Africa 5th Delegates Congress
|A New Dawn : Comrade Joel Akhator Odigie Elected General Secretary of ITUC-Africa|