12 Apr 2022

On the 7th of April 2022, the African Union (AU) had the 4th ordinary session of the Specialized Technical Committee on Social Development, Labour, and Employment. The theme “Building better well-being and living standards in Africa”, guided the meeting. The meeting was of a tripartite nature and had Government, Employers’, and Workers’ representatives present. Overall, the end goal of the meeting was to have the outcomes and recommendations aligned to the AU Agenda 2063.

“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 Ms. Jacqueline Mugo.

During the opening session representatives of the AU, International Labour Organization (ILO), employers and workers gave remarks of issues facing Africa and milestones we have achieved regarding the subject matter. The following were the representatives:

· Chair of STC SDLE 4, Minister for Gender, Labour, and Social Development- HON. Amongi Betty Ongom.

· Secretary General of Business Africa Confederation of Employer; Executive Director of the Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE) -Ms. Jacqueline Mugo.

·  General Secretary of Organization of African Trade Union Unity (OATUU)-Mezhoud Arezki.

·  Assistant Director-General / Regional Director for Africa of the ILO - Ms. Cynthia Samuel-Olonjuwon.

·  Commissioner for Health Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development of the Africa Union Commission- H.E. Minata Cessouma Samate.

The AU Agenda 2063 will benefit the African youth and the coming generations. Governments, employers, workers, leaders, and all stakeholders ought to support and encourage the youth. They are Africa's greatest resources and the best force to push the current and future Agendas. 

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 H.E. Minata Cessouma Samate.

Economies across the globe are feeling the pinch due to the Russia-Ukraine war, as Africa we are experiencing major issues such as food shortage with wheat products being the most affected, fuel shortage and inflation amongst others. Now more than ever as a continent we ought to look at solutions that are within our reach, i.e trade agreements such as the AfCFTA which champions for trade liberalization that could have substantial economic benefits amongst African countries. 

Part of these benefits would counterattack problems such as inflation and debt default. Mezhoud Arezki emphasized that as a continent we ought to take into consideration the consequences of the war and investigate what we can do as Africa and the strategies we can come up with to mitigate such occurrences and their effects thereof. He stated that the outcomes of the meeting will be solution-based to Africa.

Ms. Cynthia Olonjuwon, the ILO Regional Director for Africa,  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 to see Africa achieve her dreams.

New bureau members were elected and are as follows:

Chair – Uganda, government representative.

1st Vice Chair- Tchad.

2nd Vice Chair- Lesotho, Employer representative.

3rd Vice Chair- North Africa, Worker representative.