SOUTHERN African Development Community’s (SADC) Employment and Labour Sector Joint Tripartite Technical Sub Sector Committee (JTTS) has started its five-day meeting in Dar es Salaam to discuss labour issues, with lack of employment among youths in the member countries topping the agenda items.
The five day meeting involves government officials, employers and trade unions who will review various documents and come up with suggestions which will be tabled before the SADC ministers dealing with employment which is planned to take place in February next year.
Minister of State in Prime Minister’s Office, Parliamentary Affairs, Labour, Employment, Youths and Disabled Jenista Mhagama said in a speech read on her behalf by her ministry’s Permanent Secretary Andrew Masawe that unemployment remains a serious challenge not only in SADC member countries but to the entire world.
“Some of the items of the agenda to be discussed in JTTS meeting include preparation of employment policy among member states which was passed in 2016 – 2019 by incorporating the private sector that is a prominent stakeholders, International Labour Organisation (ILO) as well as trade unions within the block,” said the minister.
She noted that statistics show around 170 million people globally were jobless and therefore this was the main reason for JTTS to discuss the issue and come up with suggestions and advice which will be taken to the ministers’ conference early next year for further action.
Minister Mhagama said that for Tanzania, there were deliberate strategies of minimising unemployment mainly by focusing on agriculture where youths in various district councils were forming groups to engage into farming activities.
Representative of SADC’s Private Sector Forum Aggrey Mlimuka supported the importance of member states to ratify SADC employment and labour protocol, which is vital though up to now only Zimbabwe had ratified it out of the 16 bloc’s member states.
“It was illogical to discuss employment issues without compelling countries to ratify the labour protocol and accelerate movement of people and their labour from one country to another because labour migration was of unique importance,” argued Mr Mlimuka