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World of Work Summit: Kenyan President Rallies ILO to Include the Jobless in Dialogue

World of Work Summit: Kenyan President Rallies ILO to Include the Jobless in Dialogue

Kenyan President William Ruto has challenged the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to expand its dialogue to include the unemployed.

Speaking on Thursday during the ILO World of Work Summit in Geneva, Switzerland, Ruto noted that the organization’s system remains worker-oriented yet labour rights also touch the unemployed.

Ruto, who took over the leadership of the East African economic powerhouse in September 2022 explained that the approach will pave the way for sustainable solutions to unemployment.

“As we speak about matters pertaining to work, we must also speak about the millions of jobless people whose voices cannot be heard at conferences like this,” he said.

Moreover, Ruto expressed concerns over the high levels of unemployment in Africa, many countries reporting between a quarter and a third of their populations as jobless.

According to ILO report of 2020, Africa’s youth unemployment rate is the lowest in the world and compared to other regions.

“Unemployment rates are on a general declining trend since 2012 from 11.7 per cent to a projected 10.7 and 10.6 per cent in 2020 and 2021 respectively,” reads part of ILO report.

In addition. the Kenyan leader called on African States to accelerate the actualisation of Agenda 2063 and the sustainable development goals to create more opportunities for the people.

President Ruto said consolidating the African market through the implementation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area will bring more job opportunities.

“Africa has a vast opportunity to radically transform economic productivity, thereby creating employment on an unprecedented
scale,” he said.

ILO World of Work Summit 2023

The theme for this year’s World of Work Summit is “Social Justice for All”.

The Summit brings together 17 Heads of State and Government, the ILO’s Director-General, and high-level representatives from the United Nations.

UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, in his address raised concerns over rising levels of poverty, hunger and inequalities.

According to the UN Chief, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are on life support. 

“The Global Accelerator on Jobs and Social Protection is our platform to coordinate global financing for hundreds of millions of new jobs, and to extend social protection to the 4 billion people who are without coverage.

The world is at a decisive moment.  Today’s policies on climate, on threats to global security, on social solidarity and more will shape our future and that of our children and grandchildren,” Guterres said.