’Know Your ECOWAS’ an initiative for young trade union activists

Keywords : Youth Work - Organising And Workers Empowerment

’Know Your ECOWAS’ is an initiative launched by the Friedrich Egbert Stifung (FES) organization for young trade union activists to build their capacities on the ECOWAS institution as well as its protocols. This exercise has been ongoing for the past four years.The activity this year is focused on Economic and Social Policy.

Twenty one young activists from eight West African countries have been given the chance to undergo this very important capacity building exercise taking place at the ECOWAS headquarters in Abuja from 10 - 14 June 2013.

The five day program will cover important issues around the historical background and legal basis for economic integration, the administrative structure of the commission, regional integration in West Africa, international cooperation for economic development in ECOWAS among other vital issues. The program also comprises a series of guided tours of ECOWAS institutions in Abuja as well as an exclusive participation in the Abuja debate on ECOWAS External Common Tariff and trade policy challenges in West Africa.

It is hoped that the capacity building exercise will:

• Provide West African young trade union leaders with the opportunity to discover ECOWAS and discuss with executives and officials of this institution on issues regarding its organizational structure, including programs of the Macroeconomic Policy Department, the Human Development & Gender Department (Humanitarian and Social Affairs Division) as well as the Trade, Customs, Industry, Mines & Free Movement Department.

• Acquaint participants with the ECOWAS protocols relating to the free movement of persons, right of residence and establishment in their respective countries;

• Discuss with ECOWAS authorities on the concerns of the trade unions regarding their non involvement in the development and implementation of economic and social development programs;

• Develop strategies for the systematic involvement of trade unions in the ECOWAS inclusive process as regards economic and social policies, etc.

It is hoped that the young activists upon return to their respective countries, will put to use the expertise acquired for the strategic positioning of their trade union movement in the area of economic and social issues.

Young activists at the 2013 "Know your ECOWAS" meeting...

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