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Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant will next week lead a high-level South African delegation to a special session of the African Union Labour and Social Affairs Commission (AULSAC) in Windhoek, Namibia.

The conference, to be held on 23-25 April, seeks to shape and assess progress on the implementation of the 2004 Ouagadougou Declaration and Plan of Action on Employment Promotion and Poverty Alleviation.

The special session will be held under the theme: “Employment, Poverty Eradication and Inclusive development”.

The upcoming special session follows the 9th Ordinary Session of the AU Labour and Social Affairs Commission held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 2013.

The three-day conference will also reflect on how to build consensus on the future challenges of labour markets and policy perspective at all levels.

It will also adopt the revised policy framework for the next decade on labour, employment and social protection and discuss modalities for preparation of the extraordinary session Summit to be held in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso in September 2014.

The session will also provide a platform for Labour Ministers or diplomats invested with full power designated by the Member State to draw different school of thoughts in relation to human capital development, job creation, social protection and inclusive development as these issues will form part of the discussion on defining the Post 2015 Development Agenda.

According to the organisers, since employment is necessary for poverty alleviation, it is deemed important that African States begin to take stock and increase the pace of growth process as well as investment in social services such as health, social protection, integration of the informal economy, productivity etc.

A number of side-events on specific themes such as Labour Migration, Youth and Women Empowerment and Social Protection will be organised in partnership with United Nations agencies on 22 April.

The three-day gathering will on 23 to 24 April kick-start with experts meeting to consider relevant documents and make recommendations for the ministers’ consideration and approval.

The ministers’ meeting on 25 April will consider the Experts Report as well as the recommendations about the implementation of the revised Declaration Plan of Action and Follow up Mechanism.

South Africa submitted its updated report on progress on the implementation of the Ouagadougou Declaration and Plan of Action on Employment creation and poverty alleviation in September 2013.

All sessions of the conference will be held at the Country Club, Resorts and Casino in Windhoek. –