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  • Your Excellency, Muferiat Kamil, Minister of Labour and Skills Development of Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and our gracious host;
  • Your Excellency, Hon. Abdi Said, Minister for Labour, Formalization and Social Protection, Republic of Djibouti;
  • Your Excellency, Florence Bore Tapnyole, Cabinet Secretary, for Labour & Social Protection, Republic of Kenya;
  • Your Excellency, Bhi Iman Eghe, Minister for Labour and Social Affairs, Federal Republic of Somalia;
  • Your Excellency, James Hoth Mai, Minister of Labour, Republic of South Sudan;
  • Your Excellency, Hon. Col. Engola Okello, State Minister for Labour, Employmentand Industrial Relations, Republic of Uganda;
  • Mr. Kamal Aldin Mohammed Ahmed, Secretary-General National Training Council in the Ministry of Labour of the Republic of Sudan and Representing the IGAD Chair;
  • Distinguished representatives of our umbrella organization the African Union;
  • Your Excellency, Sylvie Tabesse, Ambassador of the European Union to Djibouti and accredited to IGAD;
  • Mr. Alexio Musindo, ILO Director, Country Office for Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan, and Special Representative for AU and ECA;
  • Distinguished representatives of our Development Partners
  • Esteemed Representatives of regional employment organizations, trade unions and the private sector;
  • Dear IGAD Colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is my great pleasure and an honour to welcome you all warmly on behalf the IGAD Secretariat to the 2nd IGAD Ministerial Conference on Labour, Employment and Labour Migration here in the historic city and diplomatic capital of our continent, Addis Ababa.

Since the dawn of history, the success and survival of the human race has depended most on our mobility. It is our ability to move away from unfavourable surroundings and our capacity to find opportunities and prosper in new environments that has contributed to the evolution and eminence of mankind.

Indeed, the most prosperous nations and communities are founded on migration and the resulting diversity and collaboration that it engenders. Labour migration certainly remains one of the most visible and impactful catalysts of regional integration.

Consider how the success of multilateralism, including the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), relies squarely upon the free movement of people, capital, ideas and services within our continent and across the world.

In this regard, I am pleased to note that IGAD in collaboration with our technical partner the UN-ILO have recorded significant progress in realizing the ideals enshrined in the 2021 Djibouti Declaration on Labour, Employment and Labour Migration on 5 major fronts namely;

i. Preparation of implementation and action plans for the 2021 Djibouti Declaration

ii. Capacity building for IGAD Member States, Social Partners and Labour attaches on labour migration governance;

iii. Formulation of the Draft IGAD Social Protection Strategy,
iv. Development of the Labour Market Information System (LMIS)
v. Updatedlabourmigrationstatisticsandstudiesonsocialprotection,youth

employment and women migrants in the IGAD Region.

These initiatives are playing a vital role in addressing the high levels of under- employment in our region, which stands at 61.2% or 2 out of every 3 of our citizens.

At the same time, our efforts here are critical to responding to the status of the Greater Horn of Africa as the 2nd most popular labour destination on the continent with an annual rate of entry of 7.8%.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Looking forward, ratifying key ILO International Labour Standards is one of the most important steps our region can take to promote the decent work agenda and create conducive working environment for the youth for our region to reap the social and economic dividends of labour migration.

We therefore appeal to Member States to work towards fulfilling the commitments and obligations of the various ILO International Labour Standards to which we are signatories.

Furthermore, for evidence-driven policymaking in labour governance it is essential that we finalise the development of the Regional Labour Market Information System (LMIS) to monitor the labour market trends in our region. So far, IGAD has developed the IGAD Regional Statistics Development Strategy to guide the collection, collation and analysis of regional labour market data.

The other important aspect of the Declaration is strengthening Social Protection for workers including labour migrants and workers in the informal economy who are highly vulnerable to abuse.

In this regard, I would like to announce IGAD will be supporting Member States to fully participate in the preparations and events of the proposed African Union led dialogue with the GCC on labour migration in 2023.

It is my recommendation that a Technical Team from the Secretariat and Member States joins the AU-led planning sessions to ensure that as a region, we are fully prepared and represented to share our context-specific experiences and solutions at the GCC Dialogue.

More importantly this IGAD Ministerial Committee on Labour, Employment and Labour migration should also participate in this important dialogue in the GCC in order to translate the technical outcomes into policy-level decisions.

In this regard, we are looking forward to the endorsement of the key policy decisions and directives that will be presented in the Ministerial Communique which is the key outcome document of this Conference.

Excellencies, distinguished participants, ladies and gentlemen,

In conclusion, allow me to extend IGAD’s deep appreciation to the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia for hosting the conference and Ministry of Labour and Skills for their magnificent role in coordinating this event with IGAD.

On behalf of IGAD, I also thank the EU for their unwavering financial support to the protocols on free movement and transhumance, as well as the UN-ILO for their sustained technical support for this initiative.

Finally, special thanks to other IGAD partners including the World Bank, AfDB, the Governments of Sweden, Switzerland, Germany for their generous financial support to promotion of good migration governance.

I thank you for your kind attention.

IGAD press end

Download the attached Speech in PDF below

Opening Remarks – 2nd Labour Ministerial Meeting 02.03.2023

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