Zambia: ITUC Welcomes New Jobs and Social Protection Agenda

The ITUC has welcomed a new tripartite agreement announced by the Zambian government, aimed at job creation and implement of a social protection floor. The agreement was reached at a conference in Lusaka involving the government, the ITUC-affiliated national trade union centre ZCTU, the Federation of Free Trade Unions of Zambia and the country’s employers’ federation. The two day Conference was held with the participation of the ITUC, ILO and International Monetary Fund.

Zambia was one of three countries chosen to pilot joint ILO and IMF action for employment at a 2010 conference in Oslo "The Challenges of Growth, Employment and Social Cohesion".

ITUC Deputy General Secretary Jaap Wienen, who took part in the conference, said "This agreement holds out hope for real progress on creating decent jobs and social protection in Zambia, and provides a benchmark for what we hope will be deeper and broader IMF engagement in constructive programmes at the national level. Trade unions, the ILO and many employers have been pushing for policies to promote sustainable growth, and the international financial institutions need to follow through the Zambia example in the other countries in which they operate."

The agreement establishes a renewed tripartite consultation structure, and sets out an agenda for creating decent jobs, formalising the informal economy which currently accounts for some 90% of total economic activity, and building a social protection floor.

Read the Zambian Government Communiqué issued after the conference