COVID support in West Africa well received

COVID support in West Africa well received

Jos van Erp Deputy Director View profile

From the moment DECP started supporting COVID targeted actions, partners in West Africa have made successful use of this opportunity. Actions are specifically focussing on avoiding further spread of the pandemic, safe workplaces and continuation of economic activities and productivity.

In Togo some publications of the ILO on these issues have been adapted to the national situation. The guides were distributed among 1000 private sector companies, covering all the economic sectors where employers’ organisation CNP-Togo is active. After the president of the CNP-Togo announced the publications, a series of special trainings were offered to the management of these sectors with the aim to support successful implementation.

CGECI, the employers’ organisations of Ivory Coast, decided to develop a series of 10 webinars on COVID related issues like ‘how to keep employees engaged during lock downs’ and ‘how to stay in touch with customers’ even if business is currently down? Not only members but all private sector companies can subscribe. Even experts and other employers’ organisations of the francophone world are welcome. Each webinar has dozens of participants who ask questions based on the presentation by an (external) expert and often discussions among the participants themselves provide inspiration to take further action.

In Burkina Faso the employers’ organisation CNPB is currently recording 15 interviews with decision makers of member companies from several economic sectors. These employers explain how they reacted on the outbreak of COVID-19 in order to reduce the negative effects on both employees and productivity. The recordings will be shared via video messages, in magazines and on websites.

The employers’ organisation of Bénin –CNP Bénin- has started several actions simultaneously. Useful information and updates are widely distributed on a regular basis among private sector and informal companies in order to have as many people as possible benefit from advancing professional insights. An international agency has been hired especially for this and is managed by CNP Bénin’s executive director. Besides that, the president of the CNP Bénin recently announced the start of a research project in cooperation with the Cotonou University on the psycho-social consequences of the lockdown, the uncertainty it brings and its effect on productivity. The trade unions will be involved in this process as part of the social dialogue process that is developing in the country. The final research report is expected to be presented end December.

Already the first results of this variety of actions are clearly demonstrated, therefore, DECP will continue to encourage partners to take action on COVID targeted issues and will stay close to them as advisors.