Arnout de Koster Country manager View profile

It has become a tradition for DECP to organise with ITCILO, the Training Centre of the ILO, annually a master course on the ‘Effective Employers Organisation’, abbreviated the E(effective) EO. This course is a kind of flagship programme which has now been running for about 10 years. Its objective is to give in a succinct way an overview of the essentials of the EO functioning. It targets two types if audiences: high level leaders such as Board members or newly starting CEO’s, wishing to get a general strategic overview, and staff members, who are specialists in one area, but who want to get the global view. 

For many years, this course was offered as a face to face course of 1 week, preceded by some reading. But Covid made us change the approach and to organise the course in an online mode.

For French speaking Africa, this course was not being offered in French, with the exception of one try out a few years ago. The reason was simple: a smaller potential audience as compared to the English speaking countries. It was hence a pleasant surprise that this second edition was met with lots of interest and participation and gathered more than 30 participants. As it looks like, the reputation of the previous edition triggered a wide public and interestingly enough, it also brought the participation of a number of branch associations.

The course itself is globally very similar to the previous approaches, although every edition takes on board some novelties which result from a thorough evaluation of the previous versions.


In essence, the course gives in 8 sessions an helicopter view of the main issues, challenges with which emloyers' organisations leadership is confronted and which policies and solutions can be developed. The themes are the whole range of issues ranging from good governance of employers’ organisations, the development of membership via recruitment, engagement and retention, revenue building for the organisation, the services which employers’ organisations can offer to their members, the communication role of employers’ organisations with members, and of course also the policy influence role employers’ organisations can play as voice of business via lobby, advocacy and social dialogue.     

4 sessions already took place. The active participation and interaction, and the maintained presence are good augurs to assume that the flagship programmes also work well for French speaking Africa. In spite of the intrinsic limitations of online learning.

The proof of the pudding will of course be the quality of the final exams which will be passed at the end to get the ITCILO certification.

But the quality of the discussions, the interventions and the exchanges between the participants support the assumption that the exam might be an easy threshold; easier that the technical conditions to ensure that this course can be audible and viewable in all participant countries , from Morocco to Madagascar and Burundi.