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Nairobi Declaration on the 6th Tokyo International Conference on African Dev.

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Post time: 2016-09-15 18:13:24
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26 August, 2016

Nairobi Declaration on the 6th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI)

On 26 August, the Organisation of African Trade Union Unity (OATUU) and the Japanese Trade Union Confederation (JTUC-RENGO) held a “Joint Workshop on TICAD VI” in Nairobi, Kenya and came up with the following statement.

The Organisation of African Trade Union Unity (OATUU) and the Japanese Trade Union Confederation (JTUC-RENGO) have welcomed Japan’s continual initiatives toward the promotion of African development since the first TICAD meeting in 1993. We also appreciate the holding of this 6th meeting in Africa for the first time and the increase in the frequency of meetings from once every five years to once every three years.

OATUU and JTUC-RENGO believe that the furtherance of decent work for all workers of Africa is indispensable for the realization of the sustainable development of Africa. We request that the Japanese government, the African Union Commission (AUC), the United Nations, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Bank bear in mind the following paragraphs and expedite the necessary actions.

I.        Interrelation between TICAD and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
1.        Development cooperation based on the TICAD framework should have a full awareness of coherence with the “Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)” included in the “2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” and the AU 2063 Agenda and the 13th ARM Addis Ababa declaration: Transforming Africa through Decent Work for Sustainable Development and should ensure the consistency of policies. Further efforts toward the enforcement of policies should be sufficiently based on the social aspects of development, such as the eradication of poverty and consideration for the environment, peace, security and stability, not on economic aspects alone.

From the viewpoint of advancing toward the attainment of all SDGs, it is necessary to advance “Sustainable Development Goal 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all,” and “Sustainable Development Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.” Industrialization, health and social stability are the three pillars of the main issues of the TICAD VI; these issues are closely linked with the Sustainable Development Goals 1, 4, 6, 9, 16 and others. The implementation of TICAD actions should take into account the African situation in relation to these related SDGs.

II.        End poverty (SDG1).
2.        According to the World Bank Report on Poverty in a Rising Africa- March 2016, the world has achieved tremendous declines in poverty over the past decade, but this progress has occurred unevenly. The   estimates show that the rate of extreme poverty fell in the African region from 56% in 1990 to 43% in 2012. The continent’s population, however, increased at a fast pace, so there are actually more people – an estimated 63 million more – living in extreme poverty in Africa today than in 1990, as population growth outpaced the impressive economic and social forces that reduce extreme poverty. Africa’s extreme poor live mainly in rural areas (home to 65-70% of the population).

Progress in ending poverty in all its forms has varied greatly across countries and population groups with the levels of achievement remaining challengingly low. Therefore, the African continent should harness its potentials that exist in the region to end abject poverty. The eradication of extreme poverty is a key component of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the African Union’s Agenda 2063.

African states are urged to collectively achieving a target of reducing extreme poverty below 15% by 2030, and reducing extreme poverty to below 4% by 2045 . African policymakers should develop policies that have the potential to significantly increase the rate at which poverty declines. The details of these policies must be country specific (translated into actions), but thinking about poverty reduction in an integrated scenario-based way.

III.        Quality education (SDG4).
3.        Africa’s education crisis demands the urgent attention. Many of the children in schools are receiving an education of such poor quality and they are learning very little. Africa also has some of the world’s most conspicuous education inequalities. Too often, children who are born poor, disabled, female, in rural or conflict-affected regions, face extreme disadvantage in education.
When all children have an equal chance to obtain quality education, learning drives economic growth, stimulates innovation and creates jobs. It equips countries and people with the skills they need to escape from poverty and build shared prosperity. It enables people to build more secure livelihoods, protect the environment, enjoy better health and participate in political processes that affect their lives.

Inclusive education is the key to unlocking the golden door of freedom for all in Africa. Inclusive education is at the heart of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and essential for the success of all SDGs.
We therefore urge African governments/states to renew attention to the purpose and relevance of education for human development and economic, social and environmental sustainability as defined in the Education 2030 Incheon Declaration and Frame Work for Action Towards Inclusive and Equitable Quality Education and Lifelong Learning for All-2015. Every African government should redouble its efforts in providing and strengthening inclusive and equitable-quality education and lifelong learning for all for sustainable development.

IV.        Infrastructure, industrialization and innovation (SDG9).
4.        Africa’s experience with industrialization over the past forty years has been disappointing. In 2010, sub-Saharan Africa’s average share of manufacturing value added in GDP was 10 percent, unchanged from the 1970s . A typical African economy remained dependent on the fluctuations of external market for its primary product exports, its key sectors dominated by foreign firms and associated services and financial institutions.

Without strong industries to create decent jobs and add value to raw materials, African countries risk remaining disenchanted by joblessness and poverty. Without strong industries in Africa to add value to raw materials, foreign buyers can dictate and manipulate the prices of these materials to the great disadvantage of Africa’s economies and people. “Industrialization cannot be considered a luxury, but a necessity for the continent’s development.”

African governments, individually and collectively, must develop supportive policy and investment guidelines. Developing industries require sustained electricity supply, smooth transportation and other very basic infrastructure facilities. Industrial acceleration process in Africa needs to define strong industrialization strategies, identify priority sectors to focus on the short term, as well as strategies for the medium and long terms, and identify the key enablers to kick-start and sustain industrial development. Industrialization does not occur by chance. It requires deliberate, persistent and consistent public-private partnerships and visionary leadership

Investments in infrastructure – transport, irrigation, energy and information and communication technology are crucial to achieving sustainable development and empowering communities in Africa. Investments in infrastructure are essential to long-term growth in productivity and incomes; greater social, economic, and political development; and improved health and education. To achieve economic, political and social transformation, we will need critical skills and a change of mindsets, therefore African governments should invest heavily on research, science and technology.

African countries must be able to develop, adapt and exploit scientific and technological solutions appropriate to their specific needs, otherwise they risk becoming ever more dependent on advice and assistance from the developed world. Without instituting science, technology and innovation in governments’ short, medium and long-term plans, ambitions for Africa’s sustainable industrialization will be difficult to achieve.

African governments have to work together with development partners, private sector, trade unions, training institutions and the media in supporting the development of capacity for Africa’s economic and social transformation through industrialization.

V.        Environmental sustainability and social development (SDG6,7,12,13,14,15).
5.        The Sustainable Development Goals bring together a solid, comprehensive list of objec¬tives that link environmental sustainability and social development, including Goal 6 on water, Goal 7 on energy and Goal 12 on sustain¬able consumption and production, Goal 13 on Climate, Goal 14 on Oceans and Goal 15 on forests.

In the past decade Africa has experienced high and continuous economic growth. However, many countries in the continent are struggling with several development challenges ranging from food insecurity, high unemployment, poverty and inequality, to commodity dependence, lack of economic transformation, lack of access to clean and safe water, energy crises and environmental degradation. All these challenges hinder sustainable development in Africa.

6.        Africa faces huge challenges with multiple issues that adversely affect public health. One major challenge is the ability for both rural and urban Africans to access a clean water supply. Africa as a whole, especially Sub-Saharan Africa despite efforts and approaches to extend and sustain water, sanitation and hygiene systems and services has led to different health complications leading to death within the region. Unclean water and a lack of basic sanitation are undermining efforts to end extreme poverty and disease in the world’s poorest countries.

Water affects workers’ lives through it presence, its quality and its quantity. Investments in water and sanitation in African countries can create paid and decent jobs and thereby contribute to sustainable development

7.        According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)  in 2010, about 590 million African people (57% of the population) had no access to electricity, and 700 million (68% of the population) were living without clean cooking facilities. If these current energy access trends continue, in 2030 there will still be 655 million people in Africa (42% of the population) without access to power, and 866 million (56% of the population) without clean cooking facilities, depriving the majority of the population the opportunity to pursue a healthy and productive life.

At the same time, Africa is undergoing a sustained period of economic growth and transformation. Its population is growing rapidly, and its economies are developing and diversifying. In order to be sustained, this growth will need to be fuelled by a massive investment in energy. Africa has the potential and the ability to utilize its renewable resources to stimulate the majority of its future growth with renewable energy.

Sustainable and reliable access to energy enables people to work their way out of poverty, and not just by powering basic services. Access to energy is a pre-requisite of economic and social development because virtually any productive activity needs energy as an input.

8.        Sustainable consumption and production (SCP) in Africa should be at the heart of sustainable development, and international cooperation should also be an essential part in this endeavor. For many poor people in Africa, the quality of their environment and of the natural resource base is a matter of survival. The challenge is to provide more people with a better quality of life without undermining the natural resource base and destroying the ecosystems on which everybody depends. More efficient resource use allows poor people to meet more of their needs - or consume more – from the same resource base.

Therefore SCP is an essential tool for attaining the SDGs, in particular goals 1 on No Poverty, Goal 2 on Zero Hunger, Goal 6 on Clean Water and Sanitation, Goal 7 on en- Affordable and Clean Energy, Goal 12 on Responsible Consumption and Production, Goal 13 on Climate Action, Goal 14 on Life Below Water and; Goal 15 Life on Land.

Governments and other actors should manage energy, food and water and build a Green Economy for sustainable development. This should be linked to decent work for all; in particular green-jobs will contribute to making development environmentally sustainable. It is central efforts to reduce poverty and achieve a sustainable development.

9.        It is widely known that Africa is one of the most vulnerable continents to climate change. There are signs that the impacts of climate change are already being felt, not only in terms of increases in temperature, but also in respect of agriculture (with lower crop yields) and the availability of water resources, among others. The links between climate change and the incidence of diseases -such as malaria- are also becoming clearer. In Africa like everywhere, climate change will require active involvement from the world of work and will benefit very much from the application of the Decent Work Agenda.

10.        Several African countries rely heavily on fish trade for food security and economic development. Employment in the fisheries and aquaculture primary sector has continued to grow in Africa. The contribution of Africa’s fish resources to trade is significant.

However, throughout the continent there is concern about three fundamental types of illegal fishing: unlicensed foreign industrial vessels; illegal fishing in prohibited areas, particularly close to shore, and with illegal nets; and illegal fishing by artisanal vessels. Illegal fishing is putting the livelihoods and nutrition of millions of people on the continent at risk. Overfishing and illegal-fishing affect negatively the sustainability of the fishing industry in Africa. Too often African nations lack the capacity to monitor and enforce compliance. Hence the need for effective regulated harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

Africa should also be able to pool together its expertise and resources to strengthen the management and protection of terrestrial ecosystems for sustainable development.

VI.        Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies (SDG16)
11.        Peace and security is critical for poverty eradication and sustainable development in Africa. Since the independence processes in the African continent, armed conflicts, peace and security have raised concern and attention both at the domestic level and at the international level. Africa’s recent past has been characterized by a decline in interstate conflicts. Concurrently, internal conflicts such as civil wars or ethnic conflicts are increasing. Conflict ravages local economies; destroy industries and workplaces often leading to forced migration, refugee populations, disease, and a collapse of social trust and security.

There are certain crosscutting problems that link these diverse situations and have a real impact on the human security situation in the African region, just to mention a few namely extreme poverty and social exclusion, human rights violations, especially women’s and children’s rights, bad political and economic governance, corruption, the proliferation of small arms, drug trafficking, food insecurity, environmental degradation, illiteracy and endemic diseases.

Despite improved performance in peace and security matters over recent years, one of the major challenges will be to further broaden the dialogue on peace and security beyond the narrow security dimensions. African governments have to enhance the role of non-state actors (including trade unions) on engagement to conflict prevent, conflict management and post-conflict reconstruction.

African governments should embrace democratic governance principles in order to promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies. Without good governance, the other efforts to improve human well-being outlined in the other 16 SDGs will be impossible to realize. There should be inclusive and accountable governments and fair and predictable legal systems that will deliver on the promise of development and prosperity. Goal 16 is the key to ensuring that progress and prosperity are widely shared, and that those most in need can claim and exercise their rights as African citizens.

VII.        Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development (SDG17).
12.        Debt burdens are still a problem in Africa. African countries still spend a significant portion of their resources servicing their debt. Debt servicing at any level is incompatible with attaining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)” included in the “2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” in many African countries.

Debt cancellation will enable African governments in poor countries to increase public spending in key areas such as health, education and clean water. Therefore, global partnership and assistance providers should explore extending debt cancellation to poor African countries that spend a significant portion of domestic resources servicing debt. Likewise, African governments should ensure that there is responsible lending and borrowing. African governments should improve domestic resource mobilization, including strengthening tax administration, curbing corruption, curbing illicit financial flows, improving scaling up infrastructure investment and attracting private sector financing.

13.        A successful sustainable development agenda requires partnerships between governments, the private sector trade unions and civil society. These inclusive partnerships built upon principles and values, a shared vision, and shared goals that place people and the planet at the centre, are needed at the global, regional, national and local level

14.        Close coordination between related country governments and related international organizations is needed to strengthen the viability of development cooperation. In addition, dialogue with civil society and the private sector should be stressed more than it has been thus far. To emphasize on the essence of the platform for multi-stakeholder participation, especially the role of trade unions as a member of the private sector should be recognized, and the involvement of and dialogue with trade unions should be promoted.

15.        In the drawing up and implementation of the development cooperation policies in each African country, the participation of trade unions should be secured in order to lead to the guarantee of democratic governance and specific improvements in workplaces. The promotion of the ratification and application of the ILO core labor standards, including securing freedom of association, the right to organize and the right to collective bargaining, should be especially focused upon. The observance of the core labor standards should be thoroughly enforced in Japan’s ODA projects, including in the supply chains.

  Institute of Security Studies, 2015
  Brookings Institution , Working Paper Seriesearning to Compete: Industrialization in Africa and Emerging Asia , November 2014
  AU Commission Chairperson – Ms. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma
  IRENA, 2012

Arezki Mezhoud                                                                          Naoto Ohmi
Secretary General                                                                 General Secretary
Organisation of African Trade Union Unity (OATUU)                   Japanese Trade Union Confederation (JTUC-RENGO)


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