Covid-19 underscores the importance of accelerating job creation in Africa

Since the 6th African Social Partners’ Summit on Job Creation in Lagos, Nigeria at the end of February 2020, the world has changed due to the global pandemic.

One thing that has not changed and continues to be of utmost importance is the need for transformative job creation and skills development in Africa. In fact, the current crisis has further highlighted the need for a concerted joint effort by all social partners towards job creation on the Continent, specifically within the context of existing internal, environmental and structural problems.

The African Social Partners’ Summits have produced a range of multi-stakeholder guidance documents and materials to orient and facilitate the work of employers' and workers' organisations as they engage with governments and other stakeholders to build skills and create employment across Africa (2015-Casablanca, 2016-Tunis, 2017-Algiers, 2018-Abidjan). There has always been a special focus on delivering for young people as they prepare for the world of work, especially considering Africa’s youthful demographics.

For this 6th Summit, we were grateful to receive the support of the European Commission, and the excellent hospitality and support of the Nigeria Employers' Consultative Association (NECA) under the guidance of its Director-General Timothy Olawale, who highlighted the socioeconomic realities facing Africa and the urgent need for job creation.

Moving into 2021 and beyond, the Continent will lean on the catalytic effect of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA). As a direct follow-up to our work in Lagos, IOE is currently engaging directly with the AfCFTA Secretariat on a way forward for all social partners. You may have recently received an invitation to a meeting for employers’ organisations on the AfCFTA planned for 24 February 2021. Please contact us if you would like to take part.

IOE is also redoubling policy efforts on combatting informality. Policy documents that will directly support the work of employers’ organisations will be finalised by May 2021.  

We thank all who supported and attended the Summit, and we encourage all social partners to:

  • highlight areas where we can continue to work jointly for the socioeconomic transformation of Africa,  
  • continue to focus on future actions linked to the implementation of the ILO Abidjan Declaration,
  • ensure the follow-up to the ILO Declaration on the Future of Work, especially in terms of anticipating skills; and to
  • keep abreast of regional and national efforts.


Areas of engagement:

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