Africa and Middle East: Young workers strengthen regional presence and leadership

BWI's affiliated young trade unionists in Africa and the Middle East held their 17th Regional Committee Meeting online on 4 September, carrying on from the first regional youth committee meeting organised by Laurence Marie Akayezu from STECOMA Rwanda, Chairperson of the Africa and Middle East Regional Youth Committee (RYC) and the BWI International Youth Committee (IYC) immediately following BWI's 5th Global Congress in Madrid in 2022. The meeting discussed critical youth updates and challenges in the region, and reviewed 2022 BWI Congress resolutions and statutory amendments related to young workers and presented global and regional youth reports and other relevant action plans. 

The meeting also emphasised the importance of building international strategies and tackling issues such as organising young people and negotiating for trade union rights. Upcoming campaigns were likewise discussed, particularly campaigns on the climate and a youth-led decent workday. The importance of recognising prior learning and affording young people the opportunity to gain skills and certificates, and the need for collective bargaining, training for youth leaders, and participation in the global and regional youth committee programs to ensure the active presence of youth in trade unions were also deliberated. 

In her opening remarks, BWI Africa and Middle East Regional Representative Crecentia Mofokeng lauded the young trade unionists and the regional leadership of Abdel Monem El Gammal for the successful holding of the said gathering which she said will help BWI navigate the challenges faced by youth in the region, including the effects of climate change and the clamour for decent and greener jobs. 

The meeting invited Lebohang Vincent Ramabolu, BWI’s international Youth Committee Chairperson and former Regional Youth Committee chair, whose contribution and leadership in building and consolidating the global union’s regional and global youth structures was duly recognised by the young trade unionists.