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Trade Ministry plans decent work country programme

Dec 7, 2010, 12:55 PM | Article By: Abdoulie Nyockeh

The Ministry of Trade, Regional Integration and Employment on 6 December started a five-day forum on Decent Work Country Programme (DWCP) at the Kairaba Beach Hotel in Senegambia.

The training is organised in collaboration with the International Labour Organisation ILO for The Gambia.

In her speech at the opening ceremony, Ms Sina Chuma  Mkandawire, Director of the ILO Office for Nigeria, The Gambia, Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone, said: "For the ILO, this marks a new and firm beginning of our collaboration with the Government of The Gambia, the workers and employers representative organisations and our sister UN Agencies."

She continued: "The forum is important to us as this marks the first major activity that the ILO Country Office in Abuja is undertaking in The Gambia since it was granted the privilege of overseeing ILO activities in this country."

According to Ms Mkandawire, the ILO's preoccupation over the years has been to advance opportunity for women and men to obtain decent and productive work in condition of freedom, equality, security and human dignity.

The ILO was founded on social justice as the basis for universal and lasting peace, she said, adding that to achieve this mission, the ILO needed an appropriate mechanism of delivering support to its member states.

She asserted that over the years, the ILO has provided support to its member states using a variety of mechanisms which include programme, projects and technical missions.

She said the workshop would be to equip ILO constituents and partners with the prerequisite skill to properly formulate a DWCP, a necessary and important step in capacity building efforts for the Organisation's constituents.

In his address at the opening ceremony, the Minister of Trade, Regional Integration and Employment, Yusupha Kah, welcomed the ILO officials to the Gambia and commended the team for their initiatives and commitment in backing and sponsoring the formulation of a DWCP for The Gambia. 

This is much appreciated and echoes the ILO’s effort in strengthening technical cooperation with The Gambia, the minister says.

Hon. Kah said that according to the ILO, decent work sums up the aspirations of people in their working lives, aspirations for opportunity and income, rights, voice and recognition, family stability and personal development, and fairness and gender equality.

"Decent work therefore puts up effort to reduce poverty and increase livelihoods, growth, investment and enterprise development," he says.

Women have a crucial role to play in alleviating food crisis, Minister Kah, noted, adding that they are a necessary part of food security.

"Its instruments are social dialogue and policies to promote fundamental principles and rights at work, employment and people's security," the employment minister added.

For his part, Alhagie Kebba Masanneh Ceesay, secretary general of the Gambia Labour Congress, said: "The day marks yet another milestones in creating the enabling environment for the promotion of genuine tripartism with a view to attaining decent work in The Gambia."

The overall goal of Decent Work is to effect positive change in people lives at national and local levels, Mr Ceesay.