The Gambia Trade Union Bureau (GAMTUB) in partnership with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) on Monday commenced a five-day capacity building for trade unionists.
The event that was held at Sunset Beach Hotel was centred on the theme; The role of trade unions in the transition of informal to formal sector.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Hon. Baboucarr Ousmails Joof, the minister of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment said that they are here today for the purpose of strengthening one of the constituents of the national tripartite committee noting that it is an honor and a great pleasure to associate himself, the Ministry, and the Government of The Gambia with this event. He expressed hope that this event will impact and transform this constituent of the National Tripartite Committee by improving the operational efficiency and coordination among its members. “I therefore take this opportunity to thank the International Lobour Organisation (ILO) for providing the funds for The Gambia Trade Union Bureau (GAMTUB) to organise this event,” he commended them.
Recently, he disclosed that under a technical assistance framework of the “Boosting post-Covid-19 economic recovery and resilience in The Gambia through the formalisation of informal enterprise and their workers (FORMGIS minis project)”, ILO supported the development of a National Formalisation Strategy for the first time in The Gambia, which has recently been validated. With this strategy and the TVET policy and road-map, he added, they hope the challenges of the huge informality particularly in the MSME ecosystem will be gradually addressed.
He informed the participants that the Ministry has finalised the National Employment Policy and Action Plan 2022=2026, and this is currently being implemented. To enhance the implementation of the policy and operationalisation of the Labour Market and Migration Information System, he revealed that the Ministry have proposed the establishment of a Cabinet Sub-committee, a National Employment Technical Committee, Government Industry-Academia Tripartite Committee.
Minister Joof added that his Ministry knows that The Gambia Trade Union is an important constituent of the national tripartite formation, and they are acutely aware of the significant roles Trade Unions play in the transition of workers from the informal sector to the formal sector, which includes but not limited to; advocating for legal protection, organising and representing workers, providing education and training, supporting entrepreneurship and strengthening social dialogue.
According to him, it is important to note that the specific role and impact of trade unions in the transition from informal to formal sector may vary depending on the country, labour regulations and the level of organisation and representation of trade unions. Therefore, he hopes that this event will provide the next steps and his Ministry will remain open to work with the Gambia Trade Union Bureau to realise the desired goals.