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Social Dialogue And Tripartism To Prevent And End Social Conflicts 

…In The ECOWAS Region

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Only 28% of the 400 million Africans that constitute the working age population are in stable employment, many of which are left to fend for themselves in the informal sector. 

This sad observation was made by the Guinean Minister for Labour and Employment, Damantang Albert Camara, on Wednesday 25 October 2017 in Conakry, Guinea during the opening ceremony of the General Assembly of the Tripartite Forum of Social Dialogue, of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

«Aware that each year between 10 and 12 million youth enter into the labour market, by 2020, about 122 million new applicants will enter into that market, unfortunately the current capacity for the African continent can only absorb 54 million applicants», stated Mr Camara.

The meeting will address current issues on social dialogue, present development on regional policies, share national experiences on collective negotiation as well as develop and revise the Forum’s action plans.

On her part, the Commissioner for Social Affairs and Gender of the ECOWAS Commission, Dr Fatima Dia Sow reminded participants of the Forum’s importance.

She recalled that the ECOWAS Tripartite Social Dialogue Forum is an interactive and decision framework which requires the involvement of government representatives and social partners to ensure that measures are taken at the institutional, political and judicial levels to enhance social dialogue in West Africa.

To address the challenges in the attainment of this objective, Dr Fatima Dia Sow urged the participants to make the Forum an autonomous mechanism with the requisite resources for its mission, which will strengthen West African integration.

«I enjoin you to actively participate in the deliberations in the ensuing days and also reflect deeply on the viability, relevance and innovation of the Forum.  This would give the Forum the relevant boost to enable it meet the objectives for which it was created by our Heads of State and Government, declared Dr Fatima Dia Sow. 

Declaring the Forum’s general assembly open, the Prime Minister of Guinea, Mamady Youla expressed his pride as a citizen of Guinea, for hosting this meeting, whose main objectives are to promote social dialogue and tripartism in a bid to prevent and end possible conflicts that may erupt in the course of social relations in sometimes fragile West African States.

Mamady Youla called on the participants to opt for dialogue and consultation in all situations so that together with social partners, solutions may be found for problems faced by workers, including migrant workers.

He commended the Forum’s achievements to date, particularly the validation of a draft regional chart on tripartite social dialogue, terms of reference on the harmonisation of labour rights and the draft Directive in the ECOWAS region, action plans for youth employment, and fight against child labour.

ECOWAS Tripartite Social Dialogue Forum was established in 2011 to implement the labour and employment policy, including its strategic action plan in the Community. 

Its main objective is to promote social dialogue and tripartism in order to prevent and end conflicts, promote peace and social stability, boost socio-economic development and integration at the national and regional levels.

ECOWAS Tripartite Social Dialogue Forum comprises a bureau, a general assembly and a permanent secretariat.

The theme of this year’s edition is «Investing in coastal resilience for a prosperous future in West Africa».  

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