Addis Ababa November 13/2017 It is crucial for Africa to address the challenges of bringing rapid sustainable and equitable socio-economic progress that would relieve hundreds of millions from the quagmire of poverty and social injustice, Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonen said.
While opening the 17th Regional Seminar for Labor-based Practitioners today, he said it is this ultimate goal that brought the participants together – a goal that would demand unified efforts in farsighted decision which impacts the life of each and everyone across the continent.
The Deputy Prime Minister stated that Ethiopia’s international and regional commitments as well as national endeavors have been testimonial to the determination to create conducive investment and infrastructure development policies for job-rich inclusive growth.
Transport Minister Ahmed Shide noted that despite impressive economic growth over the last decade, the continent is still facing challenges of unemployment, underdevelopment and poverty.
"This situation is further complicated by the recent global economic crisis as well as the negative effects of climate change and low capacity to adapt," he added.
According to him, the government of Ethiopia recognizes these challenges and has been taking appropriate policy measures and implemented a number of programs to address the multi-prolonged challenges.
The Minister said the country has set example for other African countries in applying labor intensive infrastructural development.
Universal Roads Accessibly Program (URRAP) is the manifestation of labor intensive infrastructural development, he explained.
Ethiopian Roads Authority Director-General, Araya Girmay stated that his country will share experiences and learn from others in labor-based job creating initiatives during the meeting.
ILO Regional Director for Africa, George Okutho pointed out that Employment-Intensive Investment Program is one of ILO’s tested approaches to promote full and productive employment and is intended to influence public and private investments on job-rich sectors.
He appreciated Ethiopia’s effort in implementing labor-based infrastructure development in all areas of the country. ILO would continue supporting Ethiopia in this regard.
More than 400 researchers, policy makers and practitioners are taking part in the four-day seminar.