“Conflicts transformation is the solution for Peace and Security in Africa”- Prof Vladimir Antwi-Danso

The works of the 2-Days joint workshop with Bureau of Workers Activities (ACTRAV)  at the Conference Hall of the Sheraton Hotel, Algiers-Algeria under the theme: “Peace, Security in Africa: Employment and Decent Work for Peace and Resilience” from 23-24th September 2018 involved presentations and discussions in An overview of the current peace and security situation in Africa; ILO intervention on peace and security; ILO Recommendation No 205: Employment and Decent Work for Peace and Resilience and Trade union role in promoting peace and security in Africa for sustainable employment and decent work.

The Current Peace and Security Situation in Africa: An Overview

We transform conflict through development,  through changing the mind set of the people.

Prof. Vladimir Antwi-Danso

According to Prof. Vladimir Antwi-Danso presentation, the security challenge faced in Africa can be found in these areas: Bad Governance; Vagaries of Globalization; Militancy,Conflict and Displacement; Health, disease and human security; Terrorism …

Basically, conflict is endemic, it is something we cannot go away with. But the type of country we want in our countries, is not the conflict that should destroy the country. It is because we don’t understand conflict that we allow conflict to destroy us. One tribe against another, the Government against rebels, but if we understand conflicts and we can always transform physical AK47 conflict to industrial, work, entertainment, which is manageable. We transform conflict through development,  through changing the mind set of the people. So by the next generation, they have forgotten about their own historical conflicts and are in a new type of conflict.

The main cause of conflicts in Africa, cannot be pin point; it is not mono-causal, it is multi-causal and it is built on a tripod-three main reasons: the history of colonialism that set the stage for conflicts, the governance system in Africa and the international system. He added: “There is one thing that could have helped to change the all thing: Leadership. The forth dimension of the tripod I have given you, is the lack of good leadership in Africa”.

However, African efforts at conflict prevention broadly and in the context of addressing structural vulnerabilities remain limited for a variety of reasons.

  • First, conflict prevention is an emerging area in terms of operationalizing tools, institutions and processes; at the continental level, systems and processes are still evolving.
  • Second, due to the burgeoning stage of conflict prevention, it is still largely in a crisis response mode and heavily focused on trigger causes, as opposed to addressing structural causes of violent conflict in a proactive way.


Trade Union Role In Promoting Peace And Security In Africa For Sustainable Employment And Decent Work.

“Trade unions represent millions of working people in Africa. They are powerful organizations based on democratic principles. They fight for inclusion, equality, and social justice. As a result trade unions have a key role to play in promoting peace and security for sustainable Employment and Decent Work”.

Comrade Frederick.A. Parry

According to  presentation, Unemployment is the biggest security risk Africans face today, especially young people aged 15 to 24 years. Many workers are working in precarious and unprotected conditions in the growing informal economy. The role of Trade Unions can be found in these areas:

  • Trade unions need to promote action on several fronts with other stakeholders to adjust school curricula to the need of the labor market.
  • Trade unions are playing an active role by negotiating better working conditions, fighting wage discrimination against young workers and the principle of equal pay for work of equal value.
  • By promoting social protection for all, including young people, who need a level of basic security to enable them to develop their skills and creativity to take advantage of labor market opportunities.
  • By supporting employment protection laws and the strengthening of legislation governing the employment of young people.
  • Fighting discrimination is a fundamental priority for trade unions. Positive action is needed to change the status quo through offering training, maternity leave and support for women with family responsibilities.
  • Trade unions contribute to the organization of young people by:

Encouraging the informal economy workers to join trade unions and pay token membership fees. Given their unsteady incomes, they also have the possibility to pay on an irregular basis.

Trade unions also offer institutions support and training in the areas of basic business education and workers rights.

  • Trade unions must identify with the struggles of young people in getting education and jobs, and adapt language and communication strategies and the use of mass media to reach out to them.
  • Trade unions must establish bases where young people are, such as tertiary institutions, sports clubs, markets etc.
  • Finally for trade unions to better discharge their responsibilities to workers in the area of job creation, they should be actively involved in national policy dialogue with their governments to influence governments’ to provide the enabling environments for massive job creation to address the issues of unemployment.

Presentations and Topics  have been discussed during plenary sessions in order to obtain clarification through questions/answers. At the end of the workshop, recommendations have been adopted to guide OATUU into the way forward.