The government, represented by the Principal Secretary (PS) of the Ministry of Public Services, Labour and Employment, on Tuesday took over the chairmanship of the African Regional Labour Administration Centre (ARLAC).
A regional institution, ARLAC’s mandate encompasses the strengthening of labour administration systems in English-speaking African member countries through comprehensive training, research, consultancy, and advisory services.
The appointment of Lesotho to the helm of the institution comes at a critical juncture for the government, as it recently reconfigured ministries, merging the former Ministry of Labour and Employment with Public Service.
Addressing the gathering in Maseru on Tuesday, Ramoeletsi Richard Ramoeletsi, Minister of Public Services, Labour and Employment, emphasised the pivotal role of robust labour administration systems â€œin fostering good labour market governance, equitable economic development, and the effective implementation of international labour standards and the decent work agendaâ€.
Ramoeletsi highlighted the significant achievement of ratifying Convention 151, extending unionisation and collective bargaining rights to public officers.
He said this was â€œa milestone that reflects the governmentâ€™s commitment to workersâ€™ rightsâ€.
He further underscored the global economic challenges, noting declining growth rates and emphasised the crucial mandate of ARLAC to fortify the labour administration system in member countries.
He urged the â€œre-engineering of ARLAC to align with evolving labour market dynamics and technological advancementsâ€, advising the center to â€œdiversify its programs, resource mobilization strategies, and partnership development initiatives to emerge as a beacon of excellence in labour administrationâ€.
Ramoeletsi further stressed the financial stability of ARLAC, emphasising that it hinges on member states’ commitment to meeting their annual subscription obligations.
He called for strategic partnerships with regional and global institutions to leverage research and development efforts, with the Lesotho Institute of Public Administration and Management (LIPAM) ready to collaborate on labour market governance training.
In her closing remarks, the incoming chairperson, Ledimo, highlighted the pivotal role of the committee of Senior Officials within ARLACâ€™s governance structure.
Comprising chief accounting officers from Ministries of Labour and Employment in member countries, this committee plays a vital role in steering ARLACâ€™s objectives.
She expressed her dedication to carrying out her duties with â€œtrustworthiness and diligenceâ€, recognising the weight of responsibility entrusted to her.
Dr Locary Hlabanu, Acting Executive Chief of ARLAC, acknowledged the challenges faced in realising the five-year strategic plan.
Despite this, Hlabanu commended the significant progress made in achieving key strategic priorities. He stressed ARLACâ€™s ongoing role in facilitating policy formulation and enhancing professional capacity in labour administration and broader labour market issues.