Regional green jobs workshop held in Dakar, Senegal

News | 13 December 2013
"Green jobs are a response to confront the twin challenge of environmental sustainability and social development"

With these words H.E. Mr Mansour Sy, Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Dialogue and Professional Organizations of Senegal kicked-off a training workshop on green jobs held from 4 to 6 December 2013 in Dakar. Bringing together representatives of governments, organisations of workers and employers from 10 French-speaking countries of central and western Africa, the workshop aimed at improving the understanding of key concepts and developing national and regional approaches and activities to promote green and decent jobs.

An entire day was devoted to field visits in view of linking the conceptual understanding with the reality of green businesses. A visit to PROPLAST, a social business employing mainly women in the sorting and recycling of plastic waste, was highly appreciated by participants as an illustration of the opportunities and challenges faced by enterprises in green sectors.

On the basis of tripartite and thematic working groups, participants discussed concrete ideas for initiatives in their respective countries, especially in the building, renewable energy, agriculture and eco-tourism sector. But also green entrepreneurship for youth and skills for green jobs took a prominent role in the discussions. Participants stressed that jobs have to be decent in order to qualify as green jobs, recalling thereby the conclusions of the 102nd International Labour Conference.

At the opening of the workshop, Minister Sy called upon constituents and the ILO to intensify their efforts to promote green jobs.

Similar workshops are planned to take place soon in all regions to respond to the demands of countries for a better understanding of the link between decent work and environmental protection.