Africa’s trade unions are calling for the adoption of tighter rules to protect Africa markets for local products.
The unions said the call was necessary to facilitate good implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA) agreement.
The unions are Trade Union Congress (TUC) of Ghana, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Congress of South Africa Trade Unions (COSATU) and Central Organisation of Trade Unions of Kenya (COTU-K).
They argued that the rules were necessary to deal with the risk of capture of the African market by the advanced countries which already have trade agreements with several African countries.
Addressing a press conference in Accra on August 6, 2019, Dr Yaw Baah, Secretary General of TUC, said that the associations were committed to work with the various trade ministries and governments to ensure that the AfCFTA increase intra-African trade and investment to promote economic growth and employment creation.
The press conference followed a four-day Trilateral Trade Union Cooperation meeting between the four trade associations on the continent.
Dubbed 4th Conference of TUC Ghana, NLC, COSATU and COTU-K, the meeting was on the theme, ‘Promoting and protecting the rights of workers in Africa.’
As part of their resolutions, he called on African governments to invest in social dialogue, strengthen labour laws and the institutions of social dialogue to protect the right of workers in the face of continued lowering of decent work standards and abuse of rights of workers across the continent.
In response to growing unemployment challenges in Africa, he stated that the associations would embark on sustained campaign to change the nature of economic policies in trade, labour market and wage, investment and industrialisation among others, which have failed majority of Africans and benefitted a few.