3 April 2018

IOE-BA Enterprise Forum and SIA Conference in Nairobi: African employers’ organisations united on the need for urgent policy measures to promote growth, jobs, innovation and entrepreneurship

As an outcome of ongoing IOE and Business Africa collaboration to organise platforms for networking and knowledge-sharing at the pan-African level, more than 40 representatives of African employers’ organisations were in Nairobi during the first week of March for a joint IOE-BA Enterprise Forum hosted by the Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE), as well as the “Stars in Africa” Conference, powered by MEDEF.

Co-funded by the European Union, the Enterprise Forum saw the employers’ organisations united in their call for urgent policy measures to support enterprise development, growth, innovation, entrepreneurship and employment.

IOE President, Erol Kiresepi; IOE Vice-President to the ILO, Mthunzi Mdwaba; and Business Africa Executive Director, Jacqueline Mugo were among the business and employer leaders to highlight the scale and nature of Africa’s challenges, especially the critical situation of youth unemployment, and to propose actionable solutions for the continent to harness its human capital potential; develop skills for a future of work that is characterised by rapid technological advances; facilitate the transition to formality, and improve the ease of doing business.

Organised by MEDEF, and co-hosted by the IOE, the “Stars in Africa” event, which followed the Forum, showcased and celebrated youth entrepreneurship and innovation. Here, the President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta highlighted his government’s support for business and job creation for youth in key sectors such as ICT and agriculture.

The IOE delivered two additional events: the first, a seminar on responsible business conduct, which was led by Matthias Thorns, IOE Director of Stakeholder Engagement; and the second, a meeting of Africa-EU Employer Organisations’ Chairpersons, which provided a venue for exchange between Pierre Gattaz, President of MEDEF, and his IOE counterpart, Erol Kiresepi on connecting skills development with youth and women’s entrepreneurship.  The IOE expressed its gratitude to the EU, Business Africa and MEDEF for their engagement on all these topics.

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