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Maseru

Lesotho chairs ARLAC

Business

Staff Reporter

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 “in fostering good labour market governance, equitable economic development, and the effective implementation of international labour standards and the decent work agenda”.

Ramoeletsi highlighted the significant achievement of ratifying Convention 151, extending unionisation and collective bargaining rights to public officers.

He said this was “a milestone that reflects the government’s commitment to workers’ rights”.

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 “re-engineering of ARLAC to align with evolving labour market dynamics and technological advancements”, advising the center to “diversify its programs, resource mobilization strategies, and partnership development initiatives to emerge as a beacon of excellence in labour administration”.

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 ARLAC’s governance structure.

Comprising chief accounting officers from Ministries of Labour and Employment in member countries, this committee plays a vital role in steering ARLAC’s objectives.

She expressed her dedication to carrying out her duties with “trustworthiness and diligence”, 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 ARLAC’s ongoing role in facilitating policy formulation and enhancing professional capacity in labour administration and broader labour market issues.

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