The International Labour Organisation (ILO) Director-General, Gilbert Houngbo, has commended the Ghana Employers’ Association (GEA) for applying social dialogue as a solution to ensuring sustainable industrial harmony, business expansion and investment attraction.
The ILO chief emphasised that social dialogue is critical in promoting productivity growth and job creation, particularly in these times when many countries are facing economic difficulties.
“The impact of COVID-19 pandemic and the conflict between Russia and Ukraine has led to a rise in inflation that has worried the Ghanaian economy. It is therefore vital and remarkable that the Employers’ Association is leveraging Social Dialogue to address issues of labour and find the right balance to ensure employees thrive during these difficult times,” he said.
Mr. Houngbo said this while addressing top management and officials of the Ghana Employers’ Association in Accra, during a working visit to GEA’s office.
Lack of productivity, according to him, continues to pose a challenge to the ILO and must be addressed holistically.
He said government must continue giving critical attention to the small and medium-scale enterprise sector to ensure growth, and tasked the Association to always trumpet the need to ensure productivity-growth among its members.
President of the Ghana Employers’ Association, Dan Acheampong, said the visit signifies the token of partnership between the Association and the ILO, which has contributed to growth of decent work in the country.
“Partnership with the ILO has augmented our efforts to implement critical evidence-based research, advocacy and capacity building for employers in Ghana” Mr. Acheampong indicated.
He disclosed that the ILO has supported GEA over the past years to execute projects earmarked for the elimination of child labour and HIV/AIDS, promotion of collective bargaining and settlement of industrial disputes, maternity protection, skills development and advocacy for policy reforms at the central and local government levels.
“These activities have helped greatly to enhance the visibility and resilience of our Association. The collaboration has also supported GEA to build a more cordial and stable relationship with organised labour and government,” Mr. Acheampong noted.
According to him, effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy and its continuous spill-overs demonstrate a need to promote sustainable enterprises, elimination of violence and harassment at the workplace, and support for informal enterprises to leverage the Africa Continental Free Trade Area and facilitate transitions to formal businesses.
Other members of the delegation included Regional ILO Director for Africa, Cynthia Samuel-Olonjuwon; and ILO Country Office Director for Ghana, Nigeria, Liberia and Sierra Leone, Vanessa Phala.