17th Regional Seminar of Labour-Based Practitioners
Theme: "Achieving Sustainable Development Goal, the Employment Intensive Approach"
13-17 November 2017, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
- We, the Ministers and country representatives from Benin, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Madagascar, Nepal, South Africa, Tunisia and Uganda responsible for Transport; Public Works, Development and International Cooperation; Economy and Planning; investments and international cooperation, Roads and Highways; and Local Development.
- Meeting at the Ministerial session on 13 and 14 November 2017 at the African Union Nelson Mandela Hall in Addis Ababa, as part of the 17th Regional Seminar of Labour-based Practitioners officiated by His Excellency Demeke Mekonnen, Deputy Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and presided by His Excellency Ahmed Shide, Minister of Transport of Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia;
- Recognizing the growing interest on employment-intensive investment (EII) approaches and diversification of its application in different sectors with multiple actors;
- Noting that despite the significant economic growth in many African countries the pressure on natural resources and on the labour market, the insufficient infrastructure and socio-economic facilities, youth unemployment, weak coverage of social protection and the in-flux migration continue to be major concerns for African countries and call for urgent and concerted measures to help ensure social cohesion, water, food and income security;
- Noting that national governments have committed to all Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), and recognizing that EII approaches address most of the root causes for sustainability and development;
- Recognizing the need for the promotion of the Decent Work Agenda to improve working conditions, employability, strengthen social dialogue, and fostering public-private and public-community partnerships to improve employment outcomes for the poorest and vulnerable communities, as well as increased participation of SMEs and emerging entrepreneurs - all in the spirit of social and solidarity economy;
- Accepting that in the spirit of “Leaving no one behind” stronger action is needed at local level to strengthen the decentralization processes including devolution. Further observing that decentralization and the sustainable development agenda offer conditions to generate more opportunities for decent employment, explore or optimize the use of local resources and expertise as well as strengthening the skills of local businesses;
- Considering the development of quality infrastructure, youth employment, social protection, climate change adaptation and effective management of migration are major priorities for the African region, and the need to address the root causes of inequalities and the creation of wealth;
- Recognizing that efforts are still required to efficiently monitor and assess the impact of employment-intensive investment programmes and the need to identify and agree on measurable indicators to achieve and report on the SDGs and the AU Agenda 2063.
We therefore commit to:
- Realign employment programmes, including infrastructure, with SDGs and the AU agenda 2063 as well as develop a sustainable funding mechanism through national investment budgets, private sector and civil society funding, complemented by the contribution of development partners;
- Encourage national and regional dialogue and adapt our policies to enhance resilience through community participation in order to mitigate the negative impacts of and adapt to climate change and advocate for a just transition through employment policies and programmes which promote employment-intensive investment, green and decent jobs;
- Institutionalize and strengthen the EII approach through high level national inter-sectoral coordination structures and implement integrated multi-sectoral employment programmes, consistent with national development and sectoral priorities that generate employment, income security, create and maintain quality assets and facilitate the achievement of the SDGs;
- Strengthen the capacity of local actors and institutions and ownership of employment programmes through vocational and managerial skills training, the enhancement of the participation of local communities in project delivery, including social audits by the beneficiaries;
- Adopt transparent and inclusive procurement policies and procedures, to promote SMEs' involved in employment intensive works to have access to public resources, and enhance participation of communities in project delivery;
- Adopt guidelines and codes of conduct of labour-based programmes in consultation with the social partners; particularly with regard to working conditions including, but not limited to, minimum wage, working age, equal pay, safety and health at the workplace, and respect for gender equity and equality;
- Increase the participation of youth and women in EII programmes in decision-making and delivery of works and services; including gender-sensitive care facilities;
- Improve the collection and processing of relevant data to analyse employment impact of investment strategies and programmes, policy and technology options, as well as to ascertain the level of achievement of the SDGs and the AU Agenda 2063;
- In the spirit of South-South cooperation and international solidarity, provide regular updates of national achievements and best practices at the Regional Seminars for Labour-based Practitioners.
- The ILO supports decent job creation initiatives included in the Decent Work Country Programmes and the UN Development Assistance Framework in order to achieve sustainable development objectives and the AU agenda 2063;
- The ILO to support the formulation of EII strategies that are aligned to the national priorities and SDGs.
- The ILO supports local capacity building initiatives relating to programme planning and development, building vocational training capacity, establishing appropriate monitoring and evaluation systems;
- Countries that are engaged in labour-based programmes, implement and encourage the provision of regular reports and updates under the platform of the Regional Seminars and in other global events; also for the benefit of those not participating in the regional seminar;
- Countries, Regional Economic Communities, the African Union and Regional Development Banks to support the financing of employment-intensive investment projects that respond to national and local needs, addressing the root causes of protracted crises, and improving the coherence between humanitarian assistance and development, within the framework of the SDGs, AU Agenda 2063, Ouagadougou +10 on employment and the Paris Climate Agreement.
- The States whose efforts are consistent with the EII approach which have significant economic, social, and environmental impact, have shared good practices on committing local resources; for instance, good practices reported South Africa ring-fenced 30% of public procurement for youth entrepreneurs, Tunisia 20% for SMEs,
- The ILO for the multifaceted support provided to countries for the promotion and supporting application of EII approaches and to monitor commitments arising from this edition of the Regional Seminar of Labour-based Practitioners;
- The Government of Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Organizing Committee for the successful organization of the 17th Regional Seminar for Labour-based Practitioners and urge all participants of the Seminar to bring the contents of this Ministerial Declaration and the Declaration of the Participants to their respective Governments and work towards its implementation;
Vote of Thanks to:
- Thank the Deputy Prime Minister, His Excellency, Demeke Mekonnen, the Minister of Transport, His Excellency Ahmed Shide, the government and the people of Ethiopia for hosting, the warm welcome and the effective execution of this 17th Regional Seminar for Labour-based Practitioners.
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 14 November, 2017
Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
Ministry of Transport
Date፡ October 18/2017 G.C
Ethiopia Hosts the 17th Regional Seminar for Labor-Based Practitioners
The Ministry of Transport, on the joint press release with the ILO Ethiopia country office, announced that Ethiopia hosts the 17th Regional Seminar for Labour – Based Practitioners. The seminar will be held from November 13-17/ 2017 in Addis Ababa at African Union conference hall.
The theme of the seminar is “Achieving Sustainable Development Goal, the Employment Intensive Approach”.
Ethiopia was popularly selected by the participants of the Regional Seminar held in October 2015 to host the 17th Seminar. The Regional Seminar brings together development professionals committed to pro-poor development through promotion of local resource based approaches in the infrastructure and other job-rich sectors.
From humble beginnings as a small gathering of 21 labour-based engineers in Mabeya, Tanzania, in 1990, the regional Seminar is now held at intervals of eighteen months, at a different venue each time, within the African continent and conducted in spirit of cooperation and international solidarity. The last Seminar, which was the sixteenth in the series, was held in Cotonou, Benin, from the 26-30 October 2015 under the theme “Facing the Challenges of Sustainable Development in the Context of Decentralization with Employment intensive Investment Approaches”.
The Seminar participants come from a large of institutions, Government Ministries responsible for infrastructure development and public employment programs, local authorities, NGOs higher academic and training institutions, development partners, and the private sector.
The objective of the seminar is to promote cost-effective and sound engineering good practice that are amenable to labour-based methods, whilst generating optimum employment opportunities and minimizing the foreign capital drain implicit in the use of technologies dependent on the use of heavy equipment particular for works that can be done labour. The seminar is also intended to generate polices, strategies and programs that are targeted at addressing teething social ills such as unemployment and poverty and that contributes towards national economic development, wealth creation and social progress.
The seminar will provide participants an opportunity to exchange ideas, share knowledge and experiences as well as networking. In addition, participants will be apprised of new policies, strategies, trends and working methods that promote the application of labour-based technology in infrastructure delivery.
During the last seminar in Cotonou, Benin, Ethiopia was unanimously nominated to host the 17th seminar in 2017. In making the nomination, participants took cognizance of :
- Ethiopia’s pioneering role in labour-based technology for infrastructure development in the Rural Roads construction and maintenance and the current Universal Rural Road Access Programme (URRAP).
- Ethiopia has a full-fledged labour-based training capacity that is taking part in building the capacities of implementing bodies at the national and state levels. The training opportunity is also extended to the private sector and engineers and technicians from neighboring countries.
- The country is making significant progress in infrastructure development both in urban and rural areas, which offers a good learning opportunity for the participants.
- Ethiopia is experimenting on various policy, strategy and program options for addressing youth unemployment, which resulted in a dramatic increment in the participation of the youth in the creation and maintenance of assets particularly in the infrastructure, agriculture, energy, etc., sectors. The country is also implementing a social safety net program aimed at addressing rural unemployment and poverty and expand employment-based social protection floor for the most vulnerable people.
- Participants can be benefited from interactions with professionals involved in these programs/projects and they in turn can share international good practices.
- Ethiopia and the historic city of Addis Ababa provide unique opportunity for conference tourism in addition to being the seat of the African Union.
By bringing together such a large number of professional participants from diverse countries, the seminar benefits the host country in terms of international exposition of its policies, structures, programs and projects.
The host country has an opportunity to use the seminar to demonstrate best practices, and also appraise participants of its potential.
In the case of Ethiopia, the 17th seminar will also provide an opportunity to market its product of technical expertise in the field of training and capacity building. And it also creates an opportunity to show case Ethiopia’s long experience in the use of labour-based technology (LBT) and youth development program as well as its achievement in the infrastructure development. On the other hand it will be a benchmark for Ethiopia’s achievement in the infrastructure development to other countries implementing similar program, particularly in technology choice and quality assurance. The other benefit of the seminar to the host country is it will expose young practitioners to share their experiences, learn and network with their peers in the region and elsewhere.
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