SADC ministers agree to strengthen capacity on Labour
Maputo, May 19, 2013, ZANIS — The four day Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Ministers and Social Partners for Employment and Labour meeting has agreed on key areas of the SADC Decent Work Programme that will be prioritized by all Member States.
The meeting agreed, according to the communiqué issued at the end of the four day SADC meeting, in Mozambique capital Maputo yesterday , that the key areas of priorities will include, strengthening the capacity of Member States to collect data and report progress on employment and labour.
The communiqué said the meeting also reviewed and approved tools that will be used by Member States to monitor, evaluate and report progress on the implementation of employment and labour
policies and programmes.
The meeting has also developed specific tools in areas of provision of social security for workers, their families and other vulnerable people, elimination of child labour and human trafficking in the
region, treatment and support to those at risk and affected by HIV / AIDS and safe guarding occupational safety and health.
In the area of promoting policies and programmes for youth employment, it was noted in the communiqué that youth unemployment and under employment and labour, remain very high, and posed a significant threat to regional integration, development and peace and security in
the SADC region.
They also underscored the need to ensure that Decent Work permeates the informal economies of Member States.
The meeting also noted that the practice of child labour needed to be eliminated in the region, while social security should be expanded among workers and vulnerable populations.
Member States, according to the communiqué, will also enhance their efforts to share lessons learnt and best practices in the areas of policies, legislation reforms and programmes relating to employment and labour matters.
The meeting witnessed an unprecedented milestone towards the harmonization and standardization in the administration of employment and labour issues in SADC region.
Zambia was represented at the meeting by Labour Minister Fackson Shamenda, Labour permanent secretary Trevor Kaunda, Zambia’s’ High Commissioner to Mozambique Japhin Mwakalombe, and Zambia Congress of Trade of Unions (ZCTU) president Leonard Hikaumba.
Others were Federation of Free Trade Unions of Zambia (FFTUZ) president Joyce Nonde -Simukoko, Zambia Federation of Employers (ZFE) president Alfred Masupha, Labour Commissioner Cecilia Mulindeti, and several other senior Government officials.
The SADC Region, with a total population of about 200 million and combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of about US 190 billion dollars and an estimated growth rate of around 6 percent per annum, is one of the most promising developing regions in the world in terms of economic potential.
However, the fact that 40 percent of the region’s population still live in conditions of abject poverty translates to a need for an estimated sustained growth rate of around 6 percent per annum.
In 1999 the total combined growth rate for SADC stood at 1.5 percent.
The successful implementation of SADC objectives as applied through appropriate employment and labour policies and strategies will contribute to the attainment of the sustained growth required to
alleviate and subsequently eradicate the unacceptably high levels of poverty in many SADC countries.
Among the issues on the Agenda for the just-ended high level meeting, were the Implementation of the 2012 Decisions of the SADC Committee of Ministers and Social Partners, preparations for the 2014 comprehensive Report on the implementation of the Ouagadougou 2004 Declaration and Plan of Action and consideration of the Draft SADC Decent Work Programme.
Other issues considered were the Road map to the Development of Youth Empowerment Promotion Strategy, report on the Piloting of Assessment Tools in Member States, SADC Labour market Information Systems (LMIS) and Resource mobilization and Capacity Building: Draft Action Plan.
The Draft SADC Code on Tuberculosis in the Mining Sector was also tackled, Labour Migration in the SADC, Facilitation of Compliance of ILO Core Conventions and Ratification of the ILO Priority Conventions, were the issues among others that were considered.
The 2014 meeting of SADC Ministers and Social Partners responsible for employment and labour will be held in Lilongwe, Malawi.