The Federation of Uganda Employers (FUE) welcomed representatives of national and sub-regional employers’ organizations (EOs), including USCIB’s Senior Counsel Ronnie Goldberg from 16 countries in the East, Central and Southern Africa region to Kampala last week for their annual two-day conference.
Panel discussions explored themes of youth employment, regional integration and labor migration, with Goldberg, who attended on behalf of the International Organization of Employers (IOE), outlining the business perspective on the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, which will be adopted by the UN later this year.
Goldberg described ways in which the IOE and newly formed Business Mechanism to the GFMD were presenting business perspectives to the government negotiators. “Migration policy is not simply a political issue,” she noted. “Labor mobility is an economic necessity and skills mobility is central to the ability of companies to thrive and compete in global markets.”
The theme of this year’s conference, which was co-funded by the European Union, built on the Declaration from the 2017 event in Walvis Bay, Namibia. Last week, the assembled EO leaders were joined by experts from the IOE, ILO and IOM to explore: “From Declaration to Action – Accelerating an enabling environment for youth employability and entrepreneurship”.
The keynote address was delivered by Chairperson of the FUE Nicholas Okwir, who was joined in the opening session by Jacqueline Mugo, secretary-general of Business Africa, Matthias Thorns, director of stakeholder engagement from the IOE and Jealous Chirove, employment specialist from ILO Dar es Salaam.
The second part of the two-day program considered best practices to address youth unemployment, as well as ways to foster youth and women’s entrepreneurship. Group sessions worked on a Road Map to identify and implement key areas for action, in line with the objective of the event.
IOE Vice-President for the ILO Mthunzi Mdwaba looked ahead to the 2018 International Labor Conference, with a comprehensive overview of the key matters of relevance to the Employers. He also updated the EOs on other ILO developments requiring concerted Employer engagement.