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Ministries of Labour in Africa urged to form new reforms

Ministries of Labour in Africa have been urged to adapt their actions and services on a regular basis and to develop new forms of organization management to enable them offer effective and diligent services to citizenry.

The Cabinet Secretary for Labour and Social Protection, Mr. Simon Chelugui said by developing new organization management, interventions and innovation, they will also provide capacity building services to labour administrators.

Chelugui commended the Africa Regional Labour Administration Center (ARLAC) for embarking on a re-engineering and transformational exercise to amend its current agreements and procedures during this time when the labour administration is operating in a rapidly changing environment which poses challenges.

“To achieve decent work for all and have proactive responses to challenges, there is need for continuing attention in terms of support, capacity building and advisory services,” he said.

The CS made the remarks in a speech read on his behalf by the Ministry of Labour Chief Administrative Secretary, Jackson Kalla Musyoka during the official opening of a meeting working on the Amendments of the Agreement and Rules of Procedure for the Africa Regional Labour Administration Center (ARLAC) Governing Council held at a Nairobi hotel.

The objective of the four-day meeting attended by Principal Secretaries and other senior government officials from Kenya, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Eswatini, Malawi and Uganda is to enable the team come up with the an amended document for consideration by the 48th ARLAC Governing Council meeting.

Chelugui urged ARLAC to build new partnerships with the academic and research institutions beyond the already established one with International Labour Organization, and to provide technical support, saying it will enable the organization have adequate governance structures in the region.

“I assure you that the Kenya government is ready and willing to support the re-engineering of ARLAC and will cooperate with all the member states to ensure that the organization realizes its new vision,” he said.

He called on the working group to come up with a comprehensive and responsive ARLAC agreement and rules of procedure document, and commended the team for completing amendments on chapters one and two of the agreement.

CAS Musyoka in his own remarks, urged members of the working group to produce a document that is flexible and can be amended when need arises.

The ARLAC Executive Director, Dr. Patrick Nalere from Zimbabwe said the strengthening of ARLAC agreement and procedures should be a commitment of each member of 90 countries, saying that it is only through a good constitution that African countries will have a good entry point to address both its internal and external challenges.

“I believe a good constitution will help the organization work in the best interest of members, boost production by unlocking challenges and  improve top level decision making,” said Nalere.

He added the new amendments will also enable the organization have rapid access to information, have better strategic planning and attract best talent governance for the organization.

The Eswatini Principal Secretary for Labour, Mr. Thulawi Mkalipi said the organization found it necessary to review its constitution with the aim of skilling and upskilling.

He said the  amendment  will enable ARLAC have a bright future by not only transforming itself in labour issues but also in value chain to make it work better and as per the International Labour Organization.

Dr. William Kiprono, Secretary of Administration in the State Department of Labour-Kenya, who was representing the Principal Secretary State Department Labour, Mr. Peter Tum said the review of the legal instrument was timely and significant to the country during this time when the global world is facing various challenges among them the modern technology, global climate warming and the Covid-19 pandemic that has changed the structure of doing business.

PS Tum urged the participants to come up with the best document which is sustainable and implementable.

The Acting Commissioner ARLAC Secretariat, Hellen Apiyo said the amendments of the agreement and rules of procedure of ARLAC will determine the destiny of the organization and assured that the working group will come up with the best instrument for the organization.

“We will be in the books of history for producing a good recommendation on ARLAC that can be used for the next 50 years,” said Ms. Apiyo.

Affirming the country’s support to the leadership of the working party, Ms. Apiyo announced that Kenya has made a lot of progress from the organization.

ARLAC is a fully fledged institution and the legal property of the government of English speaking countries of Africa in whose hands the future of the organization lies.

The working party on the Amendment was constituted by the ARLAC Governing council to amend the two documents using proposals received from ARLAC member countries.

By Bernadette Khaduli

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