Africa should be one market, not fragmented: Mugo

26 Apr 2014 10:10am
WINDHOEK, 26 APR (NAMPA) – The African Union (AU) Labour Commission must take a fresh look at working methods so that employers and workers have the opportunity to be part and parcel of deliberations on the development of Africa.
“Let us also make provisions for caucus groups to meet in order to deliberate on issues so that our discussions are more meaningful,” Jacqueline Mugo, the Secretary-General of Business Africa, said during the opening of the Labour Ministers’ meeting of the Special Session of the AU Labour and Social Affairs Commission underway in Windhoek.
This, she said, must not be construed as criticism, but is instead an endeavour to make the commission an effective and strong body.
“We want to develop a shared vision together and we fully endorse the 2030 African Agenda and vision developed by the AU Commission,” said Mugo, who also represented African employers at the meeting.
As businesses, she said, they dream of fully integrated regional economic communities that will lead the continent to a fully integrated African common market, with free movement of goods and people within the African borders.
“Imagine what a dream investment destination this would be for any investor, producing for more than a billion people. Africa should hasten the pace of regional integration and offer herself as one market instead of fragmented countries,” she said.
The ministers' meeting follows a three-day special session of the Labour and Social Affairs Commission (LASC) of the AU which brought together approximately 400 delegates from 54 AU member states.
The LASC meeting was organised by the AU commission and the government of Namibia in partnership with the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
The meeting was also set to adopt a Revised Policy Framework for the next decade on labour, employment and social protection and discuss modalities for preparation of the AU Extra-ordinary Summit in September 2014.
Participants of the special session also include the regional economic communities, the Pan-African Parliament, AU’s Economic, Social and Cultural Council, New Partnership for Africa's Development (Nepad) Planning and Coordinating Agency (NPCA), international partners, non-governmental organisations, civil society organisations and faith-based organisations.
The meeting of various African Ministers of Labour, which was officially opened by President Hifikepunye Pohamba, ended on Friday.