Equipping Togo’s trade unions to design development policies

Trade unionists from six national trade union centres in Togo met at the ITUC-Africa’s head office in Lomé from 25 to 27 March. Their discussions focussed on development cooperation.

The aim of this meeting, initiated by the ITUC-Africa, was to equip Togo’s trade union organisations to take part in the national consultations due to take place as part of the process of designing the country’s development policy.

Some 30 trade unionists from the CSTT, CNTT, UNSIT, UGSL, CGCT, GSA took part in this meeting. Discussion topics included the strategic target areas for national development (SCAPE), the reports on the effectiveness of development and the achievement of the MDGs, and the priorities for Togo’s trade unions.

Trade union organisations are today at the heart of democracy and social governance. They are recognised as stakeholders in the national development process. Their action complements that of other groups in civil society. Their importance lies in their capacity to propose credible alternatives to the problems faced by workers in the workplace and in society in general. Current developments, often dictated by technical change, have been linked to political decisions that have shaped the new economic and social parameters.

The European Union ambassador to Togo, Mr. Robert Whitehead, presented the European Union’s roadmap to the trade unionists. He stressed the fact that the trade unions must be more closely involved in the consultations and that dialogue was an important part of the structure, given the active participation of trade unions and civil society in building inclusive and sustainable development. He also insisted on the need for trade unions to unite in order to be stronger and more credible in their action.