The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: PM Launches Decent Work Agenda

Government has prioritised economic growth and come up with various policies in order to protect the welfare of workers, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has said. Launching Zimbabwe's Decent Work Agenda (DWA) for the years 2013 to 2015 in Harare today, PM Tsvangirai said the country was committed to the implementation of the International Labour Organisation's Decent Work Programme.

"The DWA has taken centre stage in Zimbabwe since 2005, with the country being a pace setter in offering better employment prospects for personal development and social integration," said PM Tsvangirai.

"To this end, Zimbabwe has launched the Medium Term Economic Recovery Plan and the Zimbabwe United Nations Development Assistance Framework."

PM Tsvangirai said he was pleased with the tripartite partners - labour, business and Government - in their strengthening of social dialogue and increasing social security for workers.

He however bemoaned that the hyper-inflation period which was experienced by the country had a devastating effect on workers, with the unemployment rate shooting up to 80 percent.

"We therefore applaud the DWA as it brings back human dignity with its pre-requisite of economic development, while it delivers freedom to express concerns, organise and participate in decisions that affect workers' lives.

"It also provides equality of opportunity and treatment for all," he said.

PM Tsvangirai urged the tripartite partners to put more effort in employment creation, while pointing to the Government's aspiration to have a US$100 billion dollar economy by 2040 and the creation of thousands of jobs.

He expressed optimism in Zimbabwe coming of age in the implementation of International Labour Standards and schemes like the National Health Insurance for the benefit of workers.

PM Tsvangirai launched the DWA during the ARLAR Governing Council meeting and high level capacity symposium being attended by 16 African countries.

The ILO has worked on measurement of Decent Work since 2000, with the agenda going beyond employment, cross cutting and expressing specific concerns for gender as well as importance of social and economic context.

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