Report on the Seminar held in Togo on the capacity building of the Trade Union Leaders of Fainatrasit from 22 to 23 July 2014

Recruitment and Organising Young Workers in the Informal Economy

Group photos of all the participants who attendedThe organiser of StreetNet in Africa Sibailly Douhouré visited Ghana, Togo, Benin and Nigeria from the 2nd to 26th July.

During his first stay in Togo, from July 7th to July 9th, Sibailly Douhouré met the leaders of FAINATRASIT, an affiliate of StreetNet in Togo to discuss the challenges of the operation of the Focal Point in West and Central Africa. During his return from Nigeria, he stopped again in Lomé to attend the first seminar of the FLOW Project in the country. Sibailly made this journey by travelling via road, what allowed him to meet several cross-border traders and to discover realities of the road traffic in West Africa.

This workshop was designed to bring together at least 50% union officials, organisers, delegates and those activists who are involved in organising activities. The age limit for the young participants, both women and men, were 35 years and under. The objective of the workshop was to equip young unionists with organising and recruiting skills so that they can assist StreetNet affiliates in the sub region.

From 22nd to 23rd July 2014 a workshop was held at the "Professional Center Brother Home" of Lome. The workshop was on the reinforcement of the capacities of the informal workers organised by FAINATRASIT, the StreetNet's affiliate in Togo, with the technical and financial support of StreetNet, based on the theme "THE LEADERSHIP OF THE YOUNG WORKERS IN THE INFORMAL ECONOMY AND THE CHALLENGE OF THE SOCIAL PROTECTION"

Group discussions taking placeMs. Yawa Toublou, President of FAINATRASIT, chaired the opening ceremony. After welcoming the participants, she invited them to reflect on trade union action of the youth and social protection in the informal economy. Sibailly Douhouré, Educator and Organiser for Africa for StreetNet mentioned that the seminar is one activity of the FLOW Project and asked participants to carefully follow the discussions. He also conveyed the brotherly greetings on behalf of the 500 000 members of StreetNet around world.

After the opening ceremony, three reporters for the summary report were appointed among the young participants including two women. There were a total of 38 participants and among them were 23 women. There were a total of 28 young workers from several localities.

Six communications were developed during the workshop:

  • Importance of the leadership of youth for a strong organisation
  • The necessity of the recruitment for a strong and democratic organisation
  • Challenges of Social Protection Floors for the working poor and Collective bargaining system for street traders
  • Youth and trade-union leadership
  • Women's Leadership".

Mr. Bitoka, representing the Director of the Informal Economy (DOSI), the government structure in charge of the informal economy was especially invited to address to the participants in order to present the objectives of the department and to show the opportunities offered to the informal workers of Togo. After the various presentations followed by debates, groups were constituted to deepen the discussions about the developed topics. At the end of the work, recommendations were made for the different structures present (FAINATRASIT, DOSI, and StreetNet).

The seminar particularly recommended FAINATRASIT to recruit and create a youth committee with an action plan.

The seminar recommended DOSI to organise training sessions for the women and the young workers in the informal economy and to build markets with adequate infrastructures (covered market, health center, toilets, tap water, electricity, childcare, storehouses...).

It has also recommended StreetNet to multiply this kind of meetings, and to put pressure on the DOSI for the collective bargaining system and for the construction of modern markets.

The closing ceremony took place on July 23rd in the evening with the reading of the summary report, the speech of the president of FAINATRASIT, the speech of the representative of the General Secretary of the Trade Union Center - CSTT- (Confédération Syndicale des Travailleurs du Togo), the speech of the Organiser of StreetNet, Sibailly and the closing remarks by the representative of the Director of the Informal Economy.

President of FAINATRASIT, Ms Yawa Toublou addressing the participants during the opening ceremony. Pictured is also StreetNet Organaiser for Africa, Sibailly Douhouré
The three reporters who were involved in the summary report. From left to right De Souza Essi Gentille, Amediavor Adjovi Genevievre, Akamah Dodji Espoir  
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StreetNet International is an alliance of street vendors. It was launched in Durban, South Africa, in November 2002.

Membership-based organizations (unions, co-operatives or associations) directly organizing street vendors, market vendors and/or hawkers among their members, are entitled to affiliate to StreetNet International.

The aim of StreetNet is to promote the exchange of information and ideas on critical issues facing street vendors, market vendors and hawkers (i.e. mobile vendors) and on practical organizing and advocacy strategies