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Business News of Thursday, 30 November 2006

Source: GNA

NEPAD must involve Trade Unions - Kpoh

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Accra, Nov. 30, GNA - Mr Napoleon Kpoh, General Secretary of the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU), on Thursday said the trade unions must demand a place in the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) process at all levels of the movement since they were involved in the development of the global economies of their countries.

He said: 'Given the apparent laudable ideals of NEPAD, and the equally improved role workers and their trade union play in contributing to the development of the global economy and the economies of their countries and communities, it is important to find out whether Trade Unions (TUs) were involved in the design or formulation of NEPAD programmes.

He asked: "Are they involved in any partnership arrangement or NEPAD implementation strategy? Has there been any real form of consultation in the process or are they earmarked for collaboration at a future stage?"

Mr Kpoh made the statement when he gave a presentation at the Union Network International-Graphical meeting in Esher, UK on: "The Role of African Trade Unions," and said the trade unions must demand a place in the NEPAD process at all levels of the movement.

He said since the formal adoption of NEPAD there had been euphoria and optimism in political circles and officialdom across the Continent about the probable outcomes of the NEPAD process.

He noted that the Trade Unions could not afford to let the NEPAD process pass by them, saying: "We have the capacity to get on board and influence the direction of the process and its outcome. Mr Kpoh observed that there was a new challenge, which called for a new form of Trade Union participation without which the Continent would not be able to get out of poverty, eradicate diseases and build a prosperous Continent.

He said as a Trade Unionist since NEPAD was introduced about five years ago he was yet to see traits of any meaningful involvement or partnership with the Trade Unions in working together with the political elite, officials and institutions of NEPAD toward the achievement of the set objectives and priorities

Mr Kpoh said whatever be the case the trade unions could not allow the objectives of NEPAD slip by and that the unions that had the capacity to influence the direction of the process ought to be given a place at the national and continental levels of NEPAD.

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