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Unemployment, inequality still a concern as ILO African regional meeting ends

African leaders gathered in Abijan acknowledged some of the critical problems facing countries across the continent, with the mass youth unemployment rate and climate change threats chief among them.

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ABIDJAN– The International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) 14th Africa regional meeting has wrapped up, with employers, labour and governments promising to shape a future of work based on social justice.

However, the declaration adopted in the meeting expresses “serious” concern about rising inequalities, unemployment and unsustainable rural-urban migration.

With the burden of finding labour market solutions in line with ILO’s objectives for the continent’s 1.3 billion people, the leaders who gathered in Abidjan are confident progress has been made.

They’ve acknowledged some of the critical problems facing countries across the continent, with the mass youth unemployment rate and climate change threats chief among them.

The organisation’s director-general, Guy Ryder, said the meeting achieved its objective.

“It is aligned strongly with the human-centred agenda for the future of work.”

Vice president of the international organisation for employers, Mthunzi Mdwaba, said a shift in approach was needed to ensure these meetings translate into action.

“If you say you must be globally inclusive, then it means all the participants to the challenge must be at the table for the solution. You can’t have a solution without women but for women, or without youth but it’s for the youth. We keep doing it and expect different results.”

The gathering has recognised that transformative processes must be accelerated to realise the United Nation’s sustainable development goals and the African Union agenda before 2063.