The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Honourable Nancy Tembo, M.P., joined the Minister of Labour, Honourable Vera Kamtukule, in officially opening the SADC Ministers of Employment, Labour and Social Partners Meeting which Malawi hosted at the Bingu International Conference Centre on the 30th of March 2022.
Hosted in a hybrid format, the meeting was convened under the theme: “Bolstering Productive Capacities in the face of the COVID-19 Pandemic for Inclusive, Sustainable, Economic and Industrial Transformation.”
In her opening remarks, Honourable Tembo called on delegates to formulate strategies that can reverse the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the labour sector, which had been adversely affected through among ways deaths of employers and employees, job and business losses, company shutdowns, higher incidences of child labour in the region, and low productivity. Honourable Tembo pointed out the necessity to stimulate SADC economies through investment and effective labour policies. She also observed that the pandemic had presented a unique opportunity SADC countries to engage with development partners on how to produce vaccines in the SADC region. She urged the meeting to formulate strategies for creating decent jobs and fighting child labour in order to revitalize SADC economies. She also pointed out the importance of developing a SADC Protocol on Employment and the Labour Market to accommodate diverse interests and levels of economic development within the SADC member states.
The last meeting of SADC Ministers of Employment and Labour Sector was held virtually on 30th April 2021 due to the COVID-19 restrictions. Through resilience and the strict observation of all COVID-19 prevention measures, this year’s meeting was a success.