The 1st Africa and Middle East Regional Presidium met in Cairo, Egypt on 8 – 10 March 2017 officiated by the Regional President Thamsanqa Piet Matosa, the members of the Presidium were warmly welcomed by one of the two Regional Vice President Abdel Monem El Gamal, President of the host union, the General Trade Union of Building & Wood Workers – GTUBWW.
The meeting was attended by Vice President Amechi Asugwuni, Chairperson of the youth Emmanuel Douglas, Vice Women Chairperson Wafaa Boltia, BWI Regional Representative for Africa and Middle East Region Crecentia Mofokeng, Project Coordinator for MENA Wassim Rifi and the Presidents from: Jordan, Morocco, Kuwait and Lebanon; the BWI General Secretary Ambet Yuson joint the meeting by SKYPE.
The Regional Presidium took note on latest developments in the region, the state of membership, and the readiness in hosting the congress and reviewed the commitment by the Presidium and affiliates in contributing towards a successful and world class congress. A general commitment was positively adopted on deadlines for the congress contributions.
The Regional Presidium called upon all affiliates in Africa and Middle East Region to transfer the congress contribution not later than April/May 9th to enable a compressive update to be presented in the World Board in May.
The General Secretary Ambet Yuson briefed the Regional Presidium that the whole world is excited about coming to congress in Durban, that in view of growing right wing government, there is a need to instil a positive energy to strengthen and unite the union movement globally, hence the relevance of the BWI theme of AMANDLA! Power to the People!
That the resolutions adopted by the region to amend the statutes are welcomed as it will enable to give voice to the South, that BWI supports the view to empower Regions, work towards 30% women representation, as well as strengthen youth participation. In wishing the Meeting success he hopes the region to continue to be united, work together in hosting a successful World Congress.
In view of discussions as well as developments in the region the 1st Regional Presidium resolved as follows:
On Xenophobic Attack on Migrant Workers in South Africa
Condemns in its entirety the actions of xenophobia in South Africa as it violates the migrant workers' rights.
Urged the government of South Africa to immediately put an end to the violence on migrant workers.
Provide enabling environment for businesses and workers; ensure safety, restore peace and stability in the country.
The Presidium took note of the ongoing killing of workers by terrorist in various countries and decided to reaffirm the resolution adopted by the 2016 Regional Conference held in Maputo, Mozambique.
BWI was urged to put pressure on:
Titan – Egypt writing a letter to the Company to improve the working conditions of workers
Lafarge Holcim – Jordan, write to Company in support of the struggles of BWI affiliate in Jordan.
In his closing remarks the President of the Region Thamsanqa Piet Matosa thank the President of the host union for all the efforts made and contributed towards a successful Regional Presidium and called upon continued unity and Solidarity in the Region, Gratitude was extended to the Regional Representative and Staff for the hard work as well as the BWI General Secretary for his wisdom and support.