Unionists discuss Africa's informal economy - About 50 union members from 48 African countries, together with their counterparts from Europe and Brazil, have been meeting since Monday in Togo's capital city on setting up an action programme for the informal economy on the continent, union sources said.
The three-day-meeting was convened by the African regional branch of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC-AF) and is aimed both at assessing labour's strong points and weaknesses in relation to the integration of informal operators into labour organisations, and sharing entrepreneurship initiatives within this type of economy.
On the second day on Tuesday, the participants exchanged views about the role of trade unions and employers in protecting and managing informal operators as well as topics related to the different national laws and employment policies.
The participants will outline action plans to be implemented in terms of management and integration of the informal sector on regional and national scales.
According to reports from the ITUC-AF, more than two out of three African workers operate in the informal sector under precarious conditions and lack social protection. Besides, the sector consists of activities not registered by the national accounting services and is not covered by labour laws.
By initiating the Lomé meeting, ITUC intends to strengthen the sector's base for union integration and raise mobilisation within the sector to provide better working conditions.