BWI Africa and Middle East 3rd Regional Conference quick off on 14th September in Maputo under the high patronage of the honourable minister of Labour of the Republic of Mozambique Mrs Victoria Dias Diogo, the presidency of Per Olof Sjöö President of BWI and in presence of Ambet Yuson the General Secretary of BWI, Piet Matosa the President of AFRECO and recentia Mofokeng the Regional Representative BWI for Africa and Middle East.
The ceremony began with the national anthem of Mozambique skillfully execute on balafon by cultural troupe followed by welcoming remarks from the General Secretary of SINTICIM Jeremias Timana affectionately called the Lion of Africa.
Piet Matosa in his speech brought revolutionary greeting of the entire 12 million members of BWI to the government and people of Mozambique before highlighting the historical struggle of the country of Samora Machel who suffered a lot not only in the oppression of Portuguese but also under Apartheid paying a big price for freedom in South Africa.
The BWI Africa and Middle East 3rd Regional conference is meeting at a most challenging period in the history of the trade union movement and of the World. “This period had seen the collapse of many strong Governments due to lack of democracy and, the collapse of strong economies due to mismanagement and individualism, lack of distribution of resources, lack of sustainable jobs and the lack of development of the youth and women. On the other hand, amongst others Africa continues to experience high prices on commodities especially Fuel, Gas, Electricity & food.. ” Piet Matosa said.
Per Olof Sjöö expressed his proudness to be in Maputo as it provides to BWI members in Africa and Middle East an opportunity to discuss their gains, limitations, and successes.
“Your thematic conference on innovative unionism actually sets the tone of both your regional meeting as well as of the global congress next year… This gathering provides you - the affiliates - with a platform to dissect the many challenges that the Union Movement especially in BWI sectors is experiencing. We hope that from your discussion will emerge strategies for change - innovative type of unionism - that will guarantee decent work and transform our workers’ movement into a sustainable global unionism. concluded Per Olof the BWI President.
On her opening remarks Mrs Victoria Dias Diogo, the Minister of Labour welcomed all participants for their presence in the peaceful city of Maputo and in Mozambique. She acknowledged the good industrial relations between the Department of Labour and trade unions in Mozambique and she is proud of SINTICIM and SINTAF, BWI affiliates in Mozambique who sawn their international vibrancy by hosting the BWI Regional Conference in Maputo. Coming to the theme of the Conference Mrs Victoria Dias Diogo said: “ In this era in which we have a globalised world, unions have to reinvent themselves. In this time they have to be adaptable and adjustable to the development of technology and Communication. It is not that you get a job that you have it for your life. You have to reinvent yourself to maintain it...”
The Conference received the report of the regional Representative, stated on membership and affiliation fees, elected the Regional Committee, the Women and Youth Committees and adopted regional action plan and resolutions.
The Regional presidium is composed by Regional President: Piet matosa NUM South Africa Vice-President: Amechi F. Asugwuni NUCECFWW, Nigeria Vice-President : Abdel Monem El Gamal GTUBWW, Egypt REGIONAL WOMEN COMMITTEE Chairperson: Elizabeth Amuto UBCCECAWU, Uganda 1st vice-chair : Bomans Odette FNTBB RDC 2nd vice-chair : Wafaa Boltia GTUBWW Egypt REGIONAL YOUTH COMMITTEE Chairperson: Emmanual Douglas,CCESSA Nigeria 1st vice-chair: Lebohang Vincent Ramabolu, NUM South Africa 2nd vice-chair : Hassanin Ibrahim Morsen , GTUBWW Egypt.