International Day on the Horn of Africa: decent work, vocational training and peace
“Decent work, vocational training and peace in the Horn of Africa”. This is the title of the international day promoted by the national CGIL and the institute for development cooperation, Nexus Emilia Romagna, in collaboration with ISCOS, VIS, Progetto Sud, the National Confederation of Eritrean Workers - NCEW - with the support of CGIL, CISL, UIL and the International Confederation of Trade Unions Africa. The event is being held within the framework of the international cooperation project "Dialogue, Training and Negotiation: Work as an Instrument of Peace - Aid 11604", financed by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation - AICS Khartoum.
The workshop will be held on 14th March 2023, close to the XIX National Congress of the CGIL on 15th March, at the Chamber of Labour in Bologna, from 2 to 5 pm. We will take the opportunity of the presence of the international guests who will take part in the congress to carry out a day of reflection on the contemporary challenges in the Horn of Africa, and to identify trade union best practices on vocational training, labour inclusion and social dialogue for a trade union peace agenda based on decent work, and implemented through international cooperation.
The Horn of Africa is a strategic sub-region of the African continent, which blends the risks, opportunities and contradictions of a region that experiences significant population growth and high rates of economic growth, but where severe poverty, especially rural poverty, profound economic inequalities, continuing tensions between populations and strong environmental vulnerability, forced migration from conflicts, and where political situations coexist that make democratization processes more impervious.
In this sense, the sub-regional dimension is of paramount importance in achieving and maintaining peace throughout the African continent through the consolidation of decent work and the strengthening of trade unions. Trade unions in the Horn of Africa, through the collaboration with the Horn of Africa Confederation of Trade Unions (HACTU), play a crucial role in preventing threats and harm from possible labor mismanagement by promoting skills development, productivity, and in strengthening the organization of workers to achieve better wages, working and living conditions, and decent work.
It is in this context that, through Italian cooperation, together with Nexus, in Eritrea we have promoted operations to modernize and re/construct the Eritrean union NCEW training centers and vocational training pathways. The research we have carried out on the labor market reality represents a strategic document that allows us to identify the major difficulties to be addressed, the knots including legislative ones that still prevent full development and develop recommendations to enable female workers, especially young people, to enter the world of work also through vocational training pathways.
In Somalia, through the Italian cooperation and Nexus, we carry out together with FESTU, a program that focuses on social dialogue as a means of identifying policies for economic formalization in strategic sectors for the country, in a spirit of tripartism and strengthening of labor institutions. In addition, with the relaunch of the peace process between Ethiopia and Eritrea, efforts of trade union cooperation between the Ethiopian trade union confederation - CETU - and the Eritrean trade union confederation - NCEW - have continued.
The workshop, coordinated by the responsible for Africa of the national CGIL, will be attended by personalities from international and African trade unions, Italian diplomatic representation, the world of associations and international voluntary work for development. The European and International Policy Head of the national CGIL will present the concluding reflections.