New UNI Africa team pledges to put the ‘bounce’ into Africa
The 4th UNI Africa Regional Conference in Dakar, Senegal showed that the region is on track and delivering for UNI affiliates. The newly elected management team of President Ndèye Founé Niang and Regional Secretary Keith Jacobs promised to put the ‘bounce’ into Africa, a pledge to organise and continue Breaking Through.
UNI Africa Regional Secretary Keith Jacobs said, “We had indeed a lively and successful UNI Africa Conference in Dakar! The Conference discussed and adopted resolutions in areas that will ensure that we campaign to improve the conditions of workers and campaign against the race to the bottom as instituted by big business.
“My vision now is for a UNI Africa to take her rightful place at the table joining our brothers and sisters globally. For us to do so, we need to join forces and ‘bounce’ to build collective bargaining power through organising.”
For details of the nine resolutions adopted see here.
UNI Africa hits the headlines
The UNI Africa Conference press releases were syndicated across Africa, and published in more than 500 outlets with a particularly strong showing in South Africa, Kenya and North Africa including Tunisia where the top daily La Presse published an in-depth article on the Future World of Work.
The Conference received excellent media coverage in Senegal and pan-Africa, including the main evenings news on Senegal’s leading television channel as well as print including the daily, Le Soleil.
The coverage was split evenly between French and English.
The conference was a huge success on social media and the hashtag UNIAfrica2017 was used hundreds of times both on Facebook and Twitter.
For full media coverage reports, see attached documents.
Conference highlights 1 – Gorée Island, a symbol of slavery past and present
UNI Africa Conference participants agreed a Declaration Against Slavery that encompassed both a pledge never to forget the slavery of the past and a vow to fight against modern day slavery. UNI Global Union General Secretary Philip Jennings led a delegation to Gorée Island where a plaque dedicated to all victims of slavery was unveiled to demonstrate UNI Global Union’s commitment to the fight against modern slavery.
Conference highlights 2 – Guest speakers and keynotes making their mark
The UNI Africa Conference participants appreciated the contributions of a wide range of speakers who delivered in-depth analysis and solutions on the challenges facing Africa and the union movement.
Here are just some of the special moments:
The Nobel Peace Prize winner Houcine Abassi brought a message of solidarity and hope to the Conference.
The General Secretaries of UNI and the ITUC Africa, Kwasi Adu-Amankwah both called on unions to reclaim the wealth that rightfully belongs to the people of Africa.
Oxford Professor Mark Graham, an expert on the Future World of Work, dissected digital Africa and revealed new data collected from the continent.
International footballer Remy Ebanega told how footballers were breaking through for their worker rights in Gabon with the support of UNI.
There were also regional perspectives related to Africa from the President of UNI Americas, Ruben Cortina and from Japan, the director of the UNI Tokyo office, Yoko Ogawa.
Conference highlights 3 – Roundtable discussions, giving workers the voice
One of the innovations at the UNI Africa conference was the round-table discussions on key topics: organising, innovation and the role of women in changing the union movement in Africa. Borrowed from the recent successful UNI Americas Conference, the format allowed for deeper discussions and gave workers and union leaders in the field the opportunity to contribute.
Conference highlights 4 – Beyond the conference hall, women, youth and sector meetings
The successful Africa Regional Conference was the culmination of week-long series of significant meetings and events. UNI Africa Women, UNI Africa Youth and UNI Africa Professionals & Managers all held conferences which elected new leadership and lit the touch-paper for four more years of dedicated organising to create a New Africa for all Africans which was the central them of the week, coupled with Breaking Through. The sector meetings, including Commerce, Finance and Post & Logistics were also rightfully proud amendments of the contributions they are making to Africa through global framework agreements and organising initiatives backed by the broader UNI family via SCORE.
Conclusion – Senegalese Teranga: from Youssou N’Dour to an emotional farewell and all eyes on Liverpool
A conference which began with a concert from Africa’s most famous singer, Youssou N’Dour, rode a wave of emotion to the final closing where UNI Africa’s new team pledged to bring a significant African presence to the UNI World Congress in Liverpool next year.
Once again thank you to all who made this the most successful Africa Regional conference ever! With a special thank you to our Senegalese hosts who were the embodiment of ‘Teranga’.