ILO COOP meets with the African Union delegation to discuss collaboration on cooperatives and the wider social and solidarity economy

The meeting took place on March 15, 2023 at the ILO Headquarters in Geneva with the participation of ILO Cooperatives Unit and African Union Commission representatives from the Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Environment Department and Labour Employment and Migration Division.

News | 21 March 2023
A key topic of discussion was the AU ten-year strategy and implementation plan on the SSE which was developed with support from the ILO Africa and ILO COOP. The strategy and its implementation plan were discussed through two consultative meetings with the civil society and tripartite constituents in the second part of 2022.

The AU representatives noted that the SSE strategy and its implementation plan would be adopted in the second half of 2024. However, they added in 2023 an event would be organized around the International Day of Cooperatives which falls on July 1st. Furthermore, a number of national case studies are envisioned for 2023. The ILO COOP staff shared with the AU; the country case studies undertaken in AU countries by the ILO in recent years. In addition, the ILO shared highlights of its work on cooperatives and the social and solidarity economy in Africa, including but are not confined to:
  • Elimination of child labour through agricultural cooperatives in Africa through ACCEL project
  • Improve agricultural cooperatives management in select supply chains through ProAgro project
  • Development of SSE policy frameworks through a consultative process in South Africa and Tunisia
  • Improving livelihoods in host communities and among forcibly displaced through PROSPECTS project
  • Advancing youth employment and women economic empowerment through the SSE via the JEUN’ESS and FORTER’ESS projects
Colleagues from the AU Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Environment Department, voiced interest in engaging in the development of region-wide projects in Africa.