East Central and Southern Africa Employers’ Organizations’ Conference-Namibia

The 2016 Edition of the Regional employers’ summit was held in Windhoek Namibia.The theme of the Conference “Training for Development and Job creation especially for Youth Employment” was co-organised by the IOE, Business Africa and the Namibian Employer’s Federation. Delegates discussed employment creation, the informal economy, poverty alleviation and sustainable development more generally. The conference also focused on strengthening employers’ organizations by providing new and better services to member federations and companies and thereby increasing their representativeness.Discussions focused on addressing social and economic issues, helping the private sector grow at regional level, boosting employment creation, assisting the informal economy, poverty alleviation and sustainable development.

Some 40 senior officials representing employers’ organizations from as far as Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi and Madagascar, discussed the importance of employment for economic growth, youth empowerment, skills development, poverty alleviation, capacity building and sustainable development. Senior specialists from the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Organization of Employers (IOE) andBusiness Africa, were also be present at the event.

The conference also focused on strengthening employers’ organizations by providing new and better service delivery to members and businesses across the continent. Unemployment, especially among the youth, is reaching devastating proportions in Southern Africa.

The conference brainstormed among participating employers’ representatives from the sub-region, exchanging ideas and best practice experiences on how to develop appropriate skills and create enough jobs for the region’s young people.

Addressing the conference, BUSINESS Africa Secretary General Jacqueline Mugo emphasized a strong linkage between the key players, business, education and training sector for skills development. For Mrs. Mugo, businesses in Africa need to have access to a workforce that has the right skills and competencies, both in quality and quantity, to deliver products and services that enable them to compete effectively in the global market. The development of this needed workforce is not only a preserve of the government and academia but a cross-sectoral responsibility. Employers’Organizations have a duty to ensure that addressing the skills gap remains one of their highest priorities for advocacy to influence public sector policy across the sub-Saharan Africa region. The youth need to be equipped with skills that match labor market demands.

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