Friday, June 03, 2011

IMF seeks employment expansion in Zambia

COMMENT - Here is some 'innovative thinking' for the IMF. Stop decreeing job killing Structural Adjustment Programmes. Stop demanding open market for international capital, which destroys local producers. Stop demanding the privatisation of state enterprises, which always leads to job losses. Stop demanding the deregulation of industries, which always leads to consolidation of businesses and job losses. Positively, start prioritising the Small and Medium Enterprise sector over transnational corporations, in policy. Allow developing countries to nurture and protect infant industries, without crying 'restriction of trade'. Do not allow infinitely extended copyright protection - how is that for freeing up trade? There are good books on the issue, and I would suggest starting with Ha-Joon Chang's works, like Reclaiming Development: An Alternative Economic Policy Manual.

IMF seeks employment expansion in Zambia
By Masuzyo Chakwe
Fri 03 June 2011, 08:40 CAT

THE IMF is looking forward to fruitful discussions later this year that can help contribute both to innovative thinking and development of shared perspectives on how employment expansion can be accelerated in Zambia.

According to a joint press release issued by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) after a meeting in Lusaka on Tuesday, senior advisor in the IMF’s African Department Sean Nolan said the meeting was an important step in preparing for an in-depth dialogue on employment policies in Zambia, involving both the two international institutions and Zambia’s social partners.

Representatives of the IMF, ILO, Zambia’s Ministry of Labour and Social Security, employers and trade unions met on Tuesday in Lusaka to prepare for a tripartite social dialogue later this year to be conducted under the auspices of the two international organisations.

According to the statement, the discussions are part of a joint effort to support broad dialogue on policies for employment creation that the ILO and IMF were conducting in three countries: Bulgaria, the Dominican Republic and Zambia.

The initiative grows out of an international conference on “The Challenges of Growth, Employment and Social Cohesion”, held in Oslo, Norway on September 13, 2010 by the ILO and IMF under the auspices of the Norwegian government.

At the Oslo Conference, the IMF and ILO agreed to work together in three areas that include, cooperation on defining Social Protection Floor policies in low-income countries; joint analysis of strategies for encouraging job-creating growth (including within the context of the G-20 Mutual Assessment Process); and efforts to promote, and provide analytical input to, national dialogue on employment creation.

ILO country director Martin Clemensson said themes discussed during the meeting included the reduction of poverty, provision of decent employment opportunities (especially for the youth), better social protection, and economic diversification, and the need to reduce the country’s dependency on copper.

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