First ever Decent Work Academy in Johannesburg

More than 130 policy-makers and representatives of workers’, employers’ and community organizations from 16 different countries gathered in Johannesburg from 2 to 6 October to discuss the future of work on the African continent.

The ILO and the Centre organized the first ever Decent Work Academy in collaboration with the South African National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC) and with support from the Government of Flanders. The opening session was addressed by high-level government, workers’ and employers’ representatives, as well as Cynthia Samuel-Olonjuwon,  ILO Acting Regional Director for Africa, and Joni Musabayana, Director of the ILO Pretoria Office.  

The Decent Work Academy was a lively forum, with participants debating present and future work challenges on the African continent. The key objective was to share the latest global thinking on a range of topics in order to find solutions for some of Africa’s pressing labour market challenges. Not the least of these challenges is to create decent jobs for the millions of young people who enter African labour markets each year.

Some of the key issues on the Academy agenda were employment promotion, rights at work, gender equality, labour migration, social protection, enterprise development and social dialogue. All of these topics were analysed against the backdrop of the rapidly changing realities of African labour markets brought about by technological progress, and social, economic and/or environmental trends.

Participants were also exposed to South African success stories in creating decent jobs: on the fourth day of the Academy, some of the participants gathered at the NEDLAC premises to engage in a tripartite debate, while others visited the Riversands Incubation Hub, studied green jobs in the South African waste sector or analysed productivity and working conditions in the automotive industry.


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