Sani Baba, PSI Regional Secretary for Africa and Arab Countries and Genevieve Gencianos, PSI Migration Programme Coordinator did a co-presentation highlighting how the African continent has been struggling with three types of crises, namely: natural crisis, human-made crisis and economic ideology crisis, and their interweaving relationship that lead to situations of disaster, displacement, loss of jobs, poverty and conflicts.
“Economic and social displacement triggered by adverse climate change impacts and conflict situations is further aggravated by the neo-liberal ideology that favours the interest of corporations, dismantles public services, destroys jobs and depletes the environment, causing large-scale displacement, impoverishment and tensions,” says Genevieve Gencianos, PSI Migration Programme Coordinator.
Amidst these crises are public service workers and their unions who are struggling to deliver the services to the people.
“Unfortunately, it is the workers who are often left out of the decision-making process,” says Sani Baba, PSI Regional Secretary for Africa and Arab Countries. “Public services are being dismantled, reduced and privatised, trade unions rights are being attacked, and workers are left in precarious situations and with no access to social protection. We have seen these aggressive attacks on our public services, such as in health, social services, water, energy and education,” says Baba.
Leaders of PSI affiliates from the Kenya Electricity and Allied Workers’ Union (KETAWU), Syndicat du Personnel des Etablissements Publics et Privatisés (SYPEPAR) in Rwanda, Public Utilities Worker’s Union (PUWU) in Ghana, Féderation Syndicale des Employés Santé, Pharmacies et Assimilés (FSESPAC) in Cameroon and the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) in Nigeria, gave examples from their specific country situations.
The conference culminated with the development of a Trade Union Action Plan on Peace and Resilience for the African region, taking into account the new ILO Recommendation No. 205 (Employment and Decent Work for Peace and Resilience), which was adopted by the International Labour Conference in June this year.
Presentation: Advancing Quality Public Services in the Challenges of Crisis and Insecurity (Sani Baba & Genevieve Gencianos)