news

Zambia hosts ILO Global Academy on Sustainable Enterprise Development

news - 02/09/2015

More than 140 policymakers, entrepreneurs, business experts and enterprise development practitioners from 15 countries will gather this week in Lusaka to discuss trends and innovations in sustainable business promotion and decent work.

The Academy, jointly organised by the ILO, the Centre and Zambia’s tripartite constituents, was inaugurated by the Hon. Fackson Shamenda, Minister of Labour and Social Security. Three issues high on the agenda are global supply chains, leapfrogging technology to boost access to finance, and market development for inclusive green growth and job creation.

The 8th Academy explores good practices, policies and tools on these topics and creates a platform for knowledge and experience sharing on ways to promote sustainable enterprise practices in different sizes and types of companies. The meeting is also an important opportunity for the social partners to analyse progress and challenges in implementing the Conclusions on the promotion of sustainable enterprises, adopted by the International Labour Conference in 2007.

Challenged by high levels of unemployment, many African countries opt to invest in entrepreneurship as a viable means of job creation and sustainable development. Small and medium sized enterprises in Africa are a main driver of job creation and as such critical to tackle unemployment and create economic development. In addition, current global trends point towards new business opportunities for SMEs in areas such as the green economy and social entrepreneurship.

At the same time, SMEs in the region are affected by high levels of informality, low levels of productivity and important gaps in the enabling environment. In this regard, the ILO supports governments and organised business and labour to harness business and employment opportunities in a comprehensive manner through the development of sustainable enterprises with an emphasis on their economic, environmental and social impact.