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OATUU concludes 50th Anniversary Celebration in Accra, Ghana

The Organisation of African Trade Union Unity (OATUU) has concluded its 50th Anniversary Celebration organised under the patronage of the President of Ghana, HE. Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo at its headquarters in Accra, Ghana. The celebration which took place from 12th to 13th April hosted various dignitaries including the ILO Assistant Director-General, Ms. Cynthia Samuel-Olonjuwon, Chairperson of the Workers’ group in the ILO, Ms. Catalene Passchier, Ghanaian Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, Hon. Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, President of OATUU, Dr. Francis Atwoli, and Secretary-General of the TUC, Dr. Anthony Yaw Baah.

The Celebration which was organised under the theme ‘Fidelity, Unity and Action for a Decent Life for African Workers’ served as an opportunity for guests to engage in several discourses on Pan-Africanism, decent work, and the way forward for OATUU. Various interactions led to the conclusion that more work and resources need to be invested in the future in order to achieve a decent work agenda and promote unity and development on the African continent in the years to come.

In his speech, the President of OATUU, Dr. Francis Atwoli, traced OATUU’s path throughout history while emphasizing the values of diligence, unity and hard work in making OATUU the Pan-African institution it is. Dr. Atwoli also highlighted OATUU’s numerous achievements over its 50 years, including championing the rights of workers and pursuing trade union unity on the continent. He paid a special tribute to the founding fathers of OATUU, as well as various leaders who were instrumental in building OATUU. Speaking on the way forward for OATUU, he said “we are obliged to redesign ourselves for the new challenges and opportunities ahead of us, noting we still have a lot to do as an institution that represents workers’ rights and interests, since fifty years later, our mandate remains as relevant as ever.”

The Secretary-General of OATUU, Mr. Arezki Mezhoud, also showed appreciation to the Ghanaian government for not only hosting OATUU since its creation but for showing the organisation unwavering support. In his address, he thanked all guests for honouring the organisation’s invitation. He highlighted that OATUU’s 50 years of existence has been the collective effort of many who have sacrificed and fought to see the vision of a united and developed Africa come to light. He encouraged guests to keep that spirit alive and continue to pursue the agenda of unity and solidarity to the common cause.

In commemorating 50 years, the OATUU leadership seized the opportunity to honour key persons who have contributed greatly to the pursuit of African unity and the promotion of trade union rights. Among the recipients were, the former Secretary-General of OATUU, Hassan Adebayo Sunmonu, Chairman of the Kwame Nkrumah Foundation, Madam Samia Yaba Nkrumah, former Ghanaian President, Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings, veteran trade unionist, Mr. Abdoulaye Lelouma Diallo and Former President of ITUC, Mr. Philip Ayubba Wabba.