Interview with Yahya Msangi

The future of Africa: Yahya Msangi at the ITUC Africa office explains about Africa’s future

1. Why is sustainability important for unions?

Sustainability of development is key to the prosperity of workers and their families. Sustainability guarantees job security, safer and healthier working conditions, greener and more decent jobs, better wages, etc.

2. What are the aspects of sustainability that are most urgent and important for Africa?

To a large extent, Africa economies are natural resource-based economies; therefore, sustainability in the utilisation of natural resources is very important. Agriculture plays a big role in Africa economies and employs the majority of the people. It is therefore important that agricultural development is carried out in a more sustainable manner in order to eradicate poverty, secure food security and create decent and green jobs.

3. Any concrete example of unions doing sustainability work in Africa?

Health is a key aspect in the search for a sustainable development paradigm.
An affiliate of the Gambia Workers Confederation is engaged in a Malaria Control programme in the City of Banjul. The union is collecting discarded plastic materials and other materials that provide good hatching spots. According to the Gambia Environmental Protection Agency, this has resulted into a 50% decrease in the rate of malaria infections in the City of Banjui.

4. How will the Post 2015-work affect Africa?

The post 2015 development framework is important to Africa perhaps more than in any other region of the world based on the level of economic development across the globe. The post 2015 development framework should avoid the weaknesses of the current MDGs MDGs The Millennium Development Goals are eight international development goals that were officially establishing following the Millennium Summit of the United Nations in 2000. All 193 United Nations member states have agreed to achieve these goals by 2015. The ITUC advocates for the inclusion of Decent Work and Social Protection in the new development framework. and its formulation process. The new goals must be more ambitious, supported by adequate financing, ensure meaningful participation of civil societies and trade unions, promote employment and decent jobs for all and bring into place universal social protection to all the people.

5. If you met a genie who gave you ONE wish within in the sustainability area, - what would you choose?

I would choose SOCIAL PROTECTION FOR ALL.