African countries have been urged to come up with innovative policies to stem the spiraling lack of capacity in labor administration thereby increasing informalisation of the economies of the continent.
Employment, Labour Productivity and Skills Development Minister Tshenolo Mabeo made the clarion call when officially opening the 13th annual meeting for the Committee of Senior Officials in Kasane on Monday.
The Committee of Senior Officials is responsible for Labour/Employment/Manpower issues in English speaking countries in Africa under the auspices of the African Regional Labour Administration Centre (ARLAC).
“Labour administration systems in our countries are confronted by numerous challenges which include inadequacies and lack of capacity to carry out labour inspections, employment services and dispute resolution,” lamented Mabeo.
Over and above a number of challenges, Mabeo said unemployment and the need to create jobs, work safety and health for those already in employment, whether in the formal or informal economy and fair terms and conditions of employment for workers in general are lagging behind.
“High unemployment and the need to create work safety and health for those already in the employment are also some of the challenges that require our maximum attention,” explained Mabeo.
According to Mabeo, challenges bedeviling labor administration on the African continent require ARLAC to involve itself in a wide range of activities including capacity building on employment creation, productivity improvement, work safety and health enhancement.
“Collective bargaining, dispute prevention and settlement through social dialogue and tripartite consultation are the only solution that needs to be implemented in order to improve labor administration in Africa,” he said.
Mabeo said it should be emphasized that ARLAC has the potential to develop as a leading institution in labour administration for both the industrialized and developing countries on the continent.
“There are few such institutions in the world (such as ARLAC). Given the necessary support from its member countries, as well cooperating partners, there is no reason why ARLAC cannot become a centre of excellence in labour administration,” he prefigured.
Mabeo said ARLAC is accepted and respected not only by African countries but also all over the world. He said the only thing lacking is the support from the member states and cooperating partners dotted across the globe.