100% Africa: Dignity, Value and Wages

While the GDP of Sub-Saharan Africa has more than quadrupled in the last 15 years, this massive economic growth has not been shared among the large majority of Africa’s people. Poverty is staggering throughout the continent, and in 20 African countries more than half of the population lives below the national poverty line. Over 16% of the people on the continent are malnourished and levels of inequality are among the highest in the world.

Minimum wages on this continent are the lowest in the world, and many African countries do not have a minimum wage at all. At the same time, the possibility for workers to organize and collectively bargain for fair wages is also being compromised in many African countries as trade union rights are under attack.

With the 100% Africa: Dignity, Value and Wages campaign, unions across the continent are calling on their governments to set minimum wage floors that allow African workers and their families to live in dignity, and which will support African economic development. If African governments support and promote minimum wage increases across the continent, competition can no longer be argued to be a barrier. Respect for trade union rights, support for collective bargaining, and expansions to social protection are moreover essential. Unions moreover call on the African Union to coordinate these reforms and call for concrete, time-bound commitments for establishing minimum living wages.