|The African Union (AU) had the 4th Ordinary Session of the Specialized Technical Committee on Social Development, Labour and Employment on 7th April 2022. Building forward better well-being and living standards in Africa guided the tripartite meeting inviting Government, Employers’ and Workers’ representatives. The end goal of the meeting was to have the outcomes and recommendations aligned to the AU Agenda 2063.
“Africa is a young continent, with proper mobilization of the youth in education, enterprise, skills development we will be able to achieve the reality of AU Agenda 2063,” noted the Commissioner for Health Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development of the African Union, H.E. Minata Cessouma Samate. She urged governments, employers, workers, leaders and all stakeholders ought to invest in youths’ Education, Entrepreneurship, Employment and Engagement so that the AU Agenda 2063 will benefit the African youth and the coming generations.
New bureau members were elected in accordance with the Rules of Procedure of the STC SDLE and announced. The elected are representatives of different African regions and tripartite representatives as well.
- Chairperson (Government)- Eastern Africa, Uganda
- 1st Vice-Chairperson (Government)- Central Africa, Chad
- 2nd Vice- Chairperson (Employer)- Southern Africa, Lesotho
- 3rd Vice-Chairperson (Worker)- North Africa
- Rapporteur (Government)- West Africa, Benin
Various agendas were discussed during the meeting as the committee sought solutions on building a better Africa. The committee focused on Post Covid-19 recovery and urged all governments/leaders in Africa to the need to undertake actions for the revival of the economy. They urged the urged them to develop and implement policies that build the resilience of African societies in the context of COVID 19 and beyond, especially with regard to access to health and nutrition, decent work, growth and productivity. “Africa’s response to the effects of the pandemic needs to be anchored on sustainable social protection systems, which is line with ensuring social justice”, noted the Secretary General of the Organisation of African Trade Union Unity (OATUU) Mr. Mezhoud Arezki. He also emphasized that as a continent we ought to take into consideration the consequences of geo-political wars such as the Russian-Ukrainian war, while looking at what we can do as Africa and the strategies we can come up with to mitigate such occurrences and their effects thereof.
The committee also discussed about ‘Africa’s Agenda for Children 2040: Fostering an Africa Fit for Children’. The discussion revolved around strategies of achieving the said vision. They applauded the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC), for its milestones on [pushing forward Africa’s Agenda for Children 2040. After deliberation, the committee decided to expedite the ratification process for the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child; effectively commemorate the Day of the African Child for the Year 2022 on ‘Eliminating Harmful Practices Affecting Children, amongst others.
Amongst other key issues that were discussed were:
1. Progress of the AU Campaign to End Child Marriage
2. AU Report on Female Genital Mutilation
3. AU Saleema Initiative on the Elimination of Female Genital Mutilation.
4. Policy Orientation on the Development of the AU Social and Solidarity Economy Strategy
To read more on these issues, kindly visit the publications sector where you will find the report.
“This tripartite STC, is a very important forum for us to influence the direction of Africa. Knowing that the decisions we make in this committee have a great impact on the lives of our people, we should take these decisions soberly, well advised and with clear understanding of the consequences,” said the Secretary General of Business Africa Employers Confederation, Ms. Jacqueline Mugo. The spirit of tripartism was evident throughout the entire meeting. Leaders called for strengthening of the principle of tripartite engagement to advance social dialogue and to amplify the voice of all stakeholders more so workers and employers.
The ILO Assistant Director-General and Regional Director for Africa, Mrs. Cynthia Olonjuwon assured the participants that the ILO will continue to contribute fully to foster the transformation journey in decent work. She said they will continue to strengthen the relationships between the AU and ILO in order to see Africa achieve her dreams.