Ghana is going through an interesting period which brings new prudent hope: economic growth picked up again strongly and jumped from an annual growth rate of around 3 % to 7-8% since the new government took over. But many challenges remain: difficult and expensive access to finance which limit borrowing and investment (interest rates around 28%), high cost of energy, burdensome bureaucracy, high unemployment, skills issues on the labour market and so on.
In all these questions, the social partners have some ideas, but do seldom have a bilateral and bipartite dialogue and concertation, in spite of good informal relations. Most of the dialogue is tripartite and very often dominated by the government.
DECP and Mondiaal FNV, in a joint mission, now examined with the social partners (Trade Union Congress and Ghana Employers Association) if there would be room for a formalised bipartite approach in social dialogue, and if so, what possible themes could be prone for a joint discussion and positioning.
TUC and GEA reacted positively. They are curious to be informed on best practices, and identified some issues which in their opinion are within a win-win approach, where agreement and common positions could help the issues forward: the pension discussion, the skills gaps and what to do to improve employment and training opportunities for young people, the better organisation of the industrial relations system as to speed up dispute settlement, to mention a few themes only.
It has been convened that they will develop jointly a concept note to determine in more detail what and how such social bipartite dialogue could be organised and how FNV and DECP could support them effectively. To be continued…..