BWI’s Africa and Middle East Regional Conference moved to 2021

The BWI Africa and Middle East Regional Executive Committee moved its  5th Regional Conference to the first quarter of 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The decision was reached during its 16th AFRECO meeting held online on 22 July. It was chaired by its President, Abdel Monem El Gamal, who also heads the GTUBWW. BWI General Secretary Ambet Yuson officiated the meeting. 


Over 40 AFRECO titular and substitute members and observers attended the meeting that took stock of the various developments in the region related to COVID-19 and assessed the numerous efforts of affiliated trade unions in protecting the health and safety of workers. BWI Regional representative Crecentia Mofokeng led the discussions by presenting a comprehensive regional report. 


Elizabeth Amuto of UBCCECAWU-Uganda, Chair of the Regional Women’s Committee and Vincent Lebohang of NUM-South Africa, BWI Global Youth Committee Chairperson followed suit and reported on the various women and youth activities organised in the region from July 2019 to June 2020. 


The meeting adopted AFRECO’s regional action plan and financial report, and approved proposals for new affiliations to BWI to be submitted to the World Board. 


A moment of silence was also offered to BWI comrades and friends who passed on, particularly Jin Sook Lee, BWI's former Global Campaigns Director and Babatunde Liadi, former Vice President of AFRECO and General Secretary of NUCECFWW-Nigeria.


BWI General Secretary Ambet Yuson expressed his satisfaction to the initiatives taken by BWI affiliates in Africa and Middle East to protect their members, and workers in general, from COVID-19. “I believe that unions will become stronger after COVID-19. We will become more resilient to the challenges of the future. We will endure and eventually triumph.”