Regional Integration, Decent Work, and Labour and Social Policies in West and Southern Africa

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UNU Insitute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies
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UNU-CRIS Working Papers
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The West and Southern areas of Africa (W&SA) are confronted with enormous challenges to maintain peace and stability, to organise good governance, and to fight against contagious diseases. Reduction of poverty is the prevalent over-all socio-economic strategic goal since most countries of the area are least developed countries (LDC). At the heart of the strategy are the search for economic prosperity and competitiveness, employment creation, and decent labour conditions. The claims for jobs of a rapidly growing young population are evident everywhere.

In order to answer these claims and reach the broader social objectives, national stakeholders and the international community are increasingly looking at the regional level and at regional integration for answers. This report is about these answers and specifically about the interaction between regional integration processes and employment, labour market and social policies in the West and Southern regions of Africa. Together, employment and labour market policies represent the search for decent work, which includes job creation and respect of the basic labour standards and measures of social protection. What can regionalism contribute to that purpose?