Zimbabwe Decent Work Country Programme Launched

On 14 February 2013, the Government of Zimbabwe in collaboration with the United Nations and other development partners launched a third generation of the Decent Work Country Programme for Zimbabwe and the ‘Skills for Youth Employment and Rural Development’ (SKILLS II) for the period of 2012-2015.

At the launch Hon. Mpariwa, Minister of Labour and human welfare underscored that, “The Decent Work Country Programme is a framework for promoting decent productive work in conditions of freedom, equity, security and dignity.”

The Decent Work Country Programme is anchored on the four key principles of: creating jobs; guaranteeing rights at work; extending social protection; and promoting social dialogue. To achieve these targets, Hon Deputy Prime Minister, Prof. Arthur G. Mutambara said, “We have to promote employability, foster talent and invest in technology with particular focus on empowering the youth.”

The launch comes at a time when unemployment in Zimbabwe remains stubbornly high. The 2011 Human Development Report indicates a decline in total employment to population ratio from 70.1% in 1991 to 64.9% in 2010. The unemployment pressure is particularly high on labour markets for youth given that decent work opportunities are in short supply.

At the launch, Mr. Alain Noudehou, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator said, “The Decent Work Country Programme is fully integrated with the 2012-2015 Zimbabwe United Nations Development Assistance Framework priorities. I am confident that through dialogue and coherent partnerships, the Decent Work Country Programme for Zimbabwe will deliver on its objectives of promoting decent work.”

Meanwhile, SKILLS II is being implemented in nine provinces of the country with the objective of reducing poverty by economically empowering disadvantaged and vulnerable young women and men in the rural and peri-urban communities. The programme, which is an expansion of the first phase, identifies viable local economic opportunities and so far has supported over 2000 participating youth using the Training for Rural Economic Empowerment and Informal Apprenticeship methodologies.

The Minister of Youth Development, Indigenization and Empowerment, Hon. Saviour Kasukuwere noted, “Given their energy, enthusiasm and innovativeness, young people have the potential to contribute immensely to the socio-economic development of our nation. The Decent Country Work Programme that we are launching today will go a long way in facilitating the socio-economic empowerment of the youth and indigenous citizens of Zimbabwe.”

Over 200 guests including senior Government Officials and Representatives of UN entities as well as other national and international labour affiliated organizations and trade unions participated at the launch.

Read the Statement by the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator