UN labour agency calls for new international policies to create jobs in

“The extensive policy advice given to Africa needs a reality check – a wake-up call,” International Labour Organization (ILO) Director-General Juan Somavia told the agency’s Tenth African Regional Meeting at its opening session in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital. “Work is at the heart of the economic, political and social concerns of people. So let’s make Decent Work in all countries the new organizing factor for a globalization that works for all,” Mr. Somavia added.He noted that the ILO’s Decent Work agenda has been assumed by its African tripartite constituents as a primary means of dealing with real problems as perceived by individuals, families and communities. That agenda is rooted in the ILO’s core strategic objectives of employment and enterprise creation, rights at work, basic social protection and social dialogue.”If we are serious about tackling poverty, then we must fight for jobs, sustainable livelihoods, income generating activities, and quality self-employment,” he said. “Through the African Union, Africa is developing a new vision and institution to tackle collectively its challenges. Through (New Partnership for Africa’s Development) NEPAD, Africa is calling for new types of partnership. Through the Extraordinary Summit on Employment and Poverty, Africa is shaping its own priorities that connect with people’s immediate needs.”That creativity and commitment should be matched at the global level,” he added. “It is time for a new generation of policies for international cooperation.”The four-day meeting brings together governments and workers’ and employers’ representatives from 53 African States to discuss initiatives to alleviate the plight of the continent’s hundreds of millions of impoverished people and creating more and better jobs for both adults and youths, both men and women.Delegates will discuss employment, development and social challenges, including employment promotion and advancement of social protection and social dialogue. They will also consider elements of a strategic plan whose objectives are based around three directions: elimination of barriers restraining the productive potential of Africa; promotion of investments for the creation of a sound framework for the governance of labour markets, based on the ILO’s fundamental principles and rights at work; and creation of opportunities for people and their families living and working in rural areas as well as the informal economy to make their way out of poverty.

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