Action programme to mobilize the social economy in Africa

The objective of the regional conference on “The social economy: Africa’s response to the global crisis”, being held in Johannesburg from 19 to 21 October 2009, is to adopt an action programme to mobilize the social economy in Africa in response to the crisis, at local, national and regional levels.

The conference is being organized by the ILO Regional Office for Africa in conjunction with the Katholieke Universiteit, Leuven, Belgium, ILO Headquarters, the ILO Cooperative Facility for Africa (COOPAFRICA), the ILO Office in Pretoria and the International Training Centre of the ILO.

Participants in the conference will be invited to launch a process leading to a potential discussion of the social economy at the International Labour Conference (ILC), the annual world forum on labour issues, held in Geneva.

According to the ILO’s Director-General, Mr Juan Somavia, “A key question is for countries to find the right stimuli for private and public enterprises, including social economy firms such as cooperatives and similar institutional forms, as well as for foreign capital and domestic savings, so as to promote entrepreneurship and initiative in enterprises within a sustainable development framework” (from the ILO Director-General’s report to the ILC, “Tackling the global job crisis – Recovery through Decent Work policies”, 2009).

The ILO has been supporting the social economy in different settings (informal and formal economy, rural and urban communities), in a variety of economic sectors and sub-sectors, by setting standards and through technical activities such as:

• advice on policy and law
• access to finance
• organizational development
• capacity building
• international networking.

The ILO has also established strong international partnerships with global social economy stakeholders, such as the International Cooperative Alliance, the Committee for the Promotion and Advancement of Cooperatives, and the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor.

Further information at: www.ilo.org/africa


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