Wednesday, 21 February 2018

EATUC and ILO-ACTRAV organised a three days sub-regional workshop from 4th to 6th May 2016 to sensitise trade union members and leaders on Recommendation No. 204, and push for its implementation in the Eastern African countries

In june 2015, the 104th International Labour Congress (ILC) session adopted a Recommendation No.204, concerning the transition from the informal economy to the formal economy

The meeting brought together a total of 23 participants, representing the six EATUC affiliates, a representative from Somalia Congress of Trade Unions (SCTU), a representative from the Confederation of Ethiopian Trade Unions (CETU), a representative from KENSAVIT-Kenya which organizes members from the informal economy in Kenya especially street vendors, also present was a representative from the East African Employers Organization (EAEO)

With a representation of 17 male and 6 female in the meeting, it is unfortunate to note that this meeting did not meet the required gender balance as required by the EATUC constitution of at least 30% women representation in all EATUC activities. The EATUC Executive Secretary Sis Caroline Khamati promised to do more through engaging with the members of the EATUC Summit to ensure that the Constitution is adhered too when selecting participants to EATUC activities and more so one on the informal economy where data shows that majority of the people in the economy are women.

The Executive Secretary of EATUC, Sis.Caroline Khamati said over the last couples of years, EATUC had been collaborating with informal sector actors like StreetNet International on building the capacity of their members and unions organizing in the informal economy on organizing techniques with a view of laying a foundation for their transition from the informal set up into the formal economy. She further stressed the importance and timing of this workshop as vital, and that it would go a long way in providing capacity to union members and leaders from the Eastern region on the ILO Recommendation No. 204 on transition from the informal economy to the formal economy.

She said the main focus of the workshop was to build the capacities of national centres within the Eastern African region on the role of trade unions in facilitating the transition from an informal economy to a formal economy including implementation of Recommendation No. 204.

Mr. Dan Okanya the representative from the East African Employers Organisation (EAEO) said it is best for the social partners within the region to discuss best how to organise this massive sector the informal economy. He said about 80% of the jobs today are in the informal economy and his organisation had started a process of registering employers in the informal economy, advocating for a conducive environment and policies for the sector. He pointed out the importance of the meeting to come up with strategies to engage and organise the informal economy effectively.

On behalf of the ILO ACTRAV Dar es Salaam office, Bro Fredrick Parry mentioned the importance to engage more with workers and employers in the informal economy as this would inform what kind of strategies to develop by the social partners.

On his part Dr. Mohammed Mwamdzingo from ILO ACTRAV Geneva office, said the workshop was second of its kind to be carried out by the ILO to push for implementation of Recommendation No. 204, 2015, saying that the first meeting was carried out a week earlier in Accra, Ghana. He also said ILO ACTRAV had developed a tri-partite manual on transition from the informal economy to the formal economy, and the examples we get from the meeting would be integrated into the process and presented at the global workers academy in ITCILO Turin, later in September 2016.


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