From humble beginnings as a small gathering of 21 labour-based engineers in Mbeya, 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 south-south 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’. Some 400 participants from 23 countries from Africa, Asia, Europe and America attended the Cotonou seminar.
The 17th seminar will be hosted by the Ministry of Transport and the Ethiopian Roads Authority from 13th – 17th November, 2017 with the support from the International Labour Organization (ILO) through the Employment-intensive Investment Branch (EMP/INVEST) and the ILO Country Office in Addis Ababa. The main theme of the Seminar is “Delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): The Employment Intensive Approach”.
Seminar participants come from a range of institutions, Government Ministries responsible for infrastructure development & public employment programmes, 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 practices that are amenable to labour-based methods, whilst generating optimum employment opportunities and minimising the foreign capital drain implicit in the use of technologies dependent on the use of heavy equipment particularly for works that can be done by labour. The seminar is also intended to generate policies, strategies and programmes 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.
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