Africa & Arab countries

Africa and Arab countries form one of the four regions in the PSI structure. Our 153 affiliated organisations in some 43 countries represent a membership of around 1.5 million people here. The regional secretariat is based in Lomé, Togo. Contact our regional offices.

Brazil: Thousands take to the streets in preparation for the general strike

10 April 2017

Two weeks after massive marches on 15 March in protest against measures introduced by President Temer’s government, on 31 March workers all over the country came together again. The protests were seen as a precursor to the all-out strike planned for 28 April.

Audio: Healthcare is a basic human right

07 April 2017

RadioLabour interviews PSI General-Secretary Rosa Pavanelli on PSI's recently launched campaign for the Human Right to Health aimed at promoting universal public health coverage for all.

Oppression leads to Depression - World Health Day 2017

07 April 2017

Confronting Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), often simply called depression, is the theme for this year’s World Health Day on 7 April. MDD is a mental disorder characterized by at least two weeks of persistent sadness and a loss of interest in normally enjoyable activities accompanied by an inability to carry out daily activities.

UN Special Rapporteur reminds the ILO that fundamental right to strike must be preserved

05 April 2017
Maina Kai, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right of Peaceful Assembly and Association

UN Special Rapporteur on the Right of Peaceful Assembly and Association, Mr. Maina Kai, has reminded the ILO that the right to strike is fundamentally enshrined in international human rights and labour law, and that its protection is necessary in ensuring just, stable and democratic societies.

PSI research paper explores options for sustainable and fair local and regional government funding

03 April 2017

PSI has just published a research briefing note that reviews options for local and regional governments (LRGs) to sustainably and progressively fund quality public services for local communities and tackle the challenges posed by rapid urbanization and increasing demands placed upon LRGs  in a context of shrinking resources, corporate tax avoidance and rising city and territory-based tax competition. The brief summarizes the related discussion paper, which is open for comments and contributions till the end of May 2017.

Towards autonomy and self-determination for persons with autism

03 April 2017
by Becky Wetherington

The 2017 World Autism Awareness Day was marked on 2 April across the world with the theme: towards autonomy and self-determination. National and international policy-makers took the time to lend their voices to the need for provision of care and support for persons with autism. The UN Secretary-General António Guterres captured this spirit in his message for the day, when he said: “Let us ensure that we make available the necessary accommodations and support to persons with autism.”

UNCSW61 comes to an end

31 March 2017
UNCSW61

The Conclusions of the Session 61 of the United Nations Commission on the Legal and Social Status of Women recognised important objectives on PSI's policy agenda, although there were also gaps on issues that the global union will continue to champion tirelessly.

Privatization Watch - 03/2017

30 March 2017

An overview of global trends in privatization of public services. Privatization Watch - Issue 03/2017.

“Our Water, Our Right”, Lagosians insist

30 March 2017

22 March was marked as World Water Day in Lagos with a demonstration in defence of the right to water. The demonstration which drew about 500 persons was organised by the “Our Water, Our Right” coalition. It was a continuation of the struggle against privatisation of water by the state government which has yielded some results, with amendments to the Environment bill before it was passed into law on 1st March.

Inspiring campaigning! #TaxJustice for Women's Rights Global Days of Action

27 March 2017

The final week of the #TaxJustice for Women's Rights Global Days of Action has been extremely busy. These have been truly global days of action, as you will see from the photos, events and actions from around the world.

PSI launches the Right to Health at AFREC

27 March 2017

A major highlight of the Africa and Arab Countries Regional Executive Committee meeting held at Lagos on 16-17 March, was the launching of the Right to Health newsletter. Right to Health is the bi-monthly newsletter of the PSI Human Right to Health global campaign which was kicked off at the Health and Social Services Task Force meeting in December 2016.

"We stand for public funding of public quality water and sanitation services for realizing women's rights"

22 March 2017

Today, 22 March, World Water Day, PSI's General Secretary Rosa Pavanelli states the importance of tax-funded public water and sanitation for all, but especially for realizing women's rights. In an interview*, Pavanelli talks about the major challenges in achieving this goal.

Global Unions Statement: Support the inclusion and retention of the full and substantive role of the ILO in the UNCSW61 Agreed Conclusions

22 March 2017

Member states at the annual Sessions of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW) are currently negotiating ‘Agreed Conclusions’ on this year’s priority theme: ‘Women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work’.

Education Support and Cultural Workers’ Network: 14-point action list

22 March 2017

At its meeting on 2-3 December 2016 in London, UK, the Education Support and Cultural Workers’ Coordinating Committee came up with the following action list for the sector:

The Role of Public Service Trade Unions in achieving Decent Work for Persons with Disabilities

21 March 2017

This groundbreaking conference, organised by PSI with the support of ILO/ACTRAV and ILO/GED, marked the beginning of a new area of collaboration. PSI in partnership with the ILO explored the issue of workers with disabilities with a special focus on the role of the public sector and public services.

Swaziland - Stop the crackdown on public workers

08 August 2012
Swaziland protestors photo by Garry Knight

The government of Swaziland is cracking down on public sector workers across the board. Civil servants, nurses, teachers and transport workers are all under threat. In support of their affiliates in Swaziland, Public Services International, Education International and the International Transport Workers' Federation have organised a joint protest action on Labourstart.

A gold medal for solidarity

25 July 2012

London's bus workers have won a huge victory. Now, it's the cleaners' turn.
Just three days before the opening of the Olympic games in London, London's bus drivers have won a big victory. As their union Unite reported, the workers "overwhelmingly voted to accept an offer of an Olympic award, meaning most workers will get £577 for the massive increase in workload over the Olympics.”

A Financial Transactions Tax for the future we want

09 July 2012
Robin Hood Tax logo

Rio de Janeiro – 22 June 2012:

The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, known as RIO+20, has taken place at a critical moment. The G20, meeting almost simultaneously, has not shown enough collective will by the world’s major economies to resolve the economic and financial turmoil we face. Member states of the European Union are facing a crucial test of their leadership in overcoming the financial and debt crisis. They are being called to choose whether or not to adopt a FTT for human and sustainable development. A positive answer could lead to a fairer and more sustainable future for the EU and contribute to sustainable human development worldwide.

Send your protest against arrests in Turkey

02 July 2012
Image of riot police

The harassment and intimidation of trade unionists in Turkey continues: in the early morning hours on June 25, the Turkish police raided offices and houses of trade unionists in Turkey. 71 were detained, and eight of these are still under arrest, including the President of PSI-affiliated KESK, Lami Özgen.

Algeria: judicial workers on hunger strike

06 June 2012

In protest against repeated human and trade union rights violations, nine union members, five women and four men, began an unlimited hunger strike on 6 May in Algiers, Algeria. Despite urgent requests for meetings, and daily reports on the hunger strikers' rapidly deteriorating health, the government continues to refuse to address the judicial workers’ issues.
PSI has already written to President Bouteflika and is now calling on its affiliates to take similar solidarity action, urging the Algerian government to start negotiations and to open the social dialogue that could resolve the ongoing crisis.

Some signs of change in Botswana - but yet to see the results

17 April 2012
Trade unionists in Botswana

Earlier this year the government of Botswana categorically stated that there will be no collective bargaining for the period 2012/2013 for financial reasons. Now the government has withdrawn the letter.

Implementing the Right to Water in the green economy

21 March 2012
Demonstration at the alternative water forum

Water Justice activists, including PSI unions, have successfully pushed the human right to water and sanitation (RTW) onto the global agenda. The UN General Assembly Resolution 64/292 of 2010 has set the standard for government obligations in ensuring universal access. Many national campaigns insist that governments adopt RTW and implement universal access to water and sanitation. Unions are working with a broad range of allies at global, regional, national and local levels.

Apply a financial transaction tax to heal global inequities

12 October 2011

Public Services International affiliate healthcare members from Europe and elsewhere are invited to join the delegation for a special event now scheduled for 3 November at the G20 Summit in Cannes, France. This action to promote a financial transaction tax to world leaders is led by PSI, our affiliate National Nurses United, the International Trade Union Confederation and civil society partners.

Working for Health and Growth - Investing in the health workforce

20 September 2016
This new report launched by the UN High-Level Commission on Health and Employment Growth (ComHEEG) proposes ambitious solutions to ensure that the world has the right number of jobs for health workers with the right skills and in the right places to deliver universal health coverage.

Gender and Tax Justice Resources

07 September 2016

These presentations and concept note were produced for PSI's global forum "No Gender Justice Without Tax Justice" held in London, 30 June-1 July 2016.

Ghana: Tax Justice and Public Sector Restructuring

06 September 2016

This background document was prepared for a Conference on Tax Justice held in Ghana as part of a two-year project (funded by FNV) with affiliate trade unions in Ghana, with the aim of promoting quality public services through a fair tax system under conditions of decent work.

PSI Speech delivered at ILO Tripartite Technical Meeting on refugees

05 July 2016
ILO TTM on refugees

PSI Migration Programme Coordinator, Genevieve Gencianos, delivered a speech on 5 July at the Opening Session of the ILO Tripartite Technical Meeting on the Access of Refugees and other Forcibly Displaced Persons to the Labour Market. The meeting is being held from 5-7 July in Geneva, Switzerland.

PSI International Young Worker's Conference for the commemoration of the 40 Years' Anniversary of the Soweto Uprising

28 June 2016

The International Young Workers’ Conference commemorating the 40 Year Anniversary of the 1976 Soweto Uprising was held from the 15-18 June at the Reef Hotel in Johannesburg. The conference is part of the flagship activities of the “Strengthening the Role of Young Workers Public Sector Trade Unions in South Africa” project, sponsored by UNISON.

Overview of proposed privatization of Electricity Sector in Ghana

22 June 2016

This recent analysis by PSIRU shows the influence of the US government and its Millennium Challenge Corporation in the planned energy privatization in Ghana.

United Nations General Assembly High Level Summit on Large Flows of Migrants and Refugees

17 June 2016

On 19 September 2016, the United Nations General Assembly will hold a “High Level Summit on Large Flows of Migrants and Refugees” at the UN in New York. The summit will call for a Global Compact on responsibility-sharing for refugees, which includes a comprehensive response plan on refugees and the strengthening of the global governance of migration.

PSI World Women's Committee report to the Executive Board

30 May 2016
WOC

The PSI World Women´s Committee met on 18th May 2016, with the participation of 33 women (16 titulars and 17 observers) and the General Secretary. Discussion focused on how to shape PSI´s policy on gender equality for the 2017 Congress.

Route of Shame 2016: Campaign Materials

26 May 2016

Join PSI and global trade unionists in a walk for social justice! Download campaign materials here and find out more about the Route of Shame 2016.

Africa and Arab News

31 March 2016

This newsletter is produced by PSI's African regional office and covers news and events in the African and Arab countries.

Comments on Expert Group background note for the first meeting of the UN High-Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth

24 March 2016

PSI gave evidence to the United Nations High-Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth in Lyon, France on 23 March 2016. PSI argued that public spending on public health was both a government obligation to ensure universal access to health care and an investment in economic growth.

Logos for the World Water Day (WWD) 2016

19 March 2016

Logos for the World Water Day 2016 are available for download in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese in both JPG and PDF format.

Arab women & the right to peace

18 March 2016
Arab women

On 18 March, during the 60th session of the Commission on the Status of Women, PSI & WILF/MADRE/AEDIDH/ITUC will organise a trade union parallel event on: Arab Women and the human rights to peace. It will provide an opportunity for trade union and social movement leaders from Arab countries to give their views on peace as a human right.

Development Cooperation

17 March 2016

PSI provided input to an assessment from the water justice network of development cooperation support for the implementation of human rights. Development partners, including the World Bank, have violated human rights, including with their conditionalities for private sector participation. We call for the suspension of grant and loan programs which implicitly or explicitly promote PPP schemes. The implementation of Sustainable Development Goal #6 on water and sanitation presents opportunities to improve the practices of development partners. We point to the examples of public-public partnerships (PUPs), which are gaining in popularity but have not received adequate support from development partners – in part, because PUPs are not-for-profit. We also call for more rigorous measures to ensure that all rights holders can participate in decision-making.

Report: Protecting the Public Interest from Predatory Privatization and Outsourcing

17 March 2016

A Public Services International Leadership Meeting held on 2-3 December 2015 in Washington, D.C. USA and hosted by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). The objective of this PSI leadership meeting was to explore ways to work together to strengthen the fight against the global push for privatization, linking national campaigns to regional and global dynamics.

IAMREC 2016 (Puerto Rico)

09 March 2016

On March 29th, 30th and 31st, the IAMREC 2016 was held in San Juan, Puerto Rico. See here all the information and documents related to the meeting.

2016 Caribbean SUBRAC meeting

15 February 2016

The Caribbean Sub-regional Advisory Committee (SUBRAC) meets annually. The SUBRAC is a PSI advisory body comprising representatives from affiliates who “facilitate the consultation process at sub-regional level on policy issues and work programme implementation, and who participate in exchange and dialogue on issues relevant to PSI affiliates.”

2016 Caribbean SUBWOC meeting

15 February 2016
2015 SUBWOC

The Sub-regional Women’s Advisory Committee (SUBWOC) meets on the day preceding the Sub-regional Advisory Committee (SUBRAC) meeting and comprises the women representatives attending that meeting. The chair is Sis Jillian Bartlett, the Caribbean Women’s Titular. The SUBWOC meets annually. In accordance with PSI’s constitution, the number of representatives attending the SUBWOC meeting must be at least 50% of the number of representatives attending the SUBRAC meeting.

Migrants, Refugees and Climate Change: the Trade Union Response

07 December 2015

At a time when racism is growing and negative narratives are growing against refugees and migrants fleeing poverty and oil wars, this 2-hours workshop at the Climate Generation Areas of Paris COP 21 organised by PSI affiliate the Public and Commercial Services Union (UK), combined a panel discussion and a debate with the audience.

Climate Change: COP21

02 December 2015

The biggest climate conference ever has opened in Paris under extremely tight security. The terror attacks of 13 November caused the French government to cancel the massive people’s demonstration on 29 November and have significantly altered the focus of the climate conference, as security issues permeate.

Trade Union Forum on Climate and Jobs

30 November 2015

Trade unions will be present in Paris and will be engaging between them and with allies on their experiences on climate change around the world. Join us in our forum!

Protecting the public interest from predatory privatization and outsourcing

27 November 2015
AFSCME

For two days union leaders and policy leaders from the World Bank, the IMF and the U.S. Government led by Treasury, will discuss the global push for privatization, linking unions' national campaigns to regional and global dynamics.

PSI/EPSU-ILO Roundtable on Labour Migration and Trade Union Rights

23 November 2015

The PSI/EPSU-ILO Roundtable on Labour Migration and Trade Union Rights is taking place in Yerevan, Armenia on 24-25 November. This meeting will be held in English, Russian and Armenian with the participation of PSI/EPSU affiliates, ILO Moscow ACTRAV and invited guests, experts and PSI staff.

12th Regional Conference for Africa and Arab Countries and related meetings

14 September 2015

The 12th Regional Conference for Africa and Arab Countries (AFRECON) and related meetings will take place, from 22nd to 25th September 2015, at the Gaborone Sun Conference Centre, in Gaborone (Botswana).

Global Labour Tax Summit

28 July 2015
Photo: Tax - Creative Commons - 401Kcalculator.org

PSI is organising a Global Labour Tax Summit in partnership with the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), to examine tax issues from a labour perspective; with inequality rising rapidly and tax scandals increasingly making front page news, public anger is growing.

Third International Conference on Financing for Development (FFD3)

13 July 2015

As negotiations for the Post 2015 Development Agenda draw to a close at the United Nations, Member States are discussing means of implementation and financing. PSI is taking an active part in this process together with other trade unions and civil society partners.

Mission impossible: Development without Public Services

08 July 2015

In the run up to the Third UN Conference on Financing for Development (FFD) in Addis Ababa, PSI, together with eight civil society organising partners, is holding an event to raise concerns on the effects of public-private partnerships (PPPs) in health, education and water and sanitation and propose alternative policy options that are more compatible with social development.

Young workers' seminar for Africa & Arab countries

19 June 2015

The Africa & Arab countries Young worker's seminar will be held in Gaborone, Botswana on 23 September 2015. This meeting will be held prior to the 12th Regional Conference for Africa & Arab countries (AFRECON).

Women's Seminar for Africa & Arab countries

19 June 2015

The Africa & Arab countries Women's Seminar will be held in Gaborone, Botswana on 22 September 2015. This meeting will be held prior to the 12th Regional Conference for Africa & Arab countries (AFRECON).

AFREC 2015: Regional Executive Committee for Africa and Arab countries

19 June 2015

The Regional Executive Committee for Africa and Arab countries (AFREC) will be held in Gaborone, Botswana on 22 September 2015. This meeting will be held prior to the 12th Regional Conference for Africa & Arab countries (AFRECON).

Video: Tony Salvador, Lawyer, IDEALS, Philippines

17 October 2014

"Migrant workers should be protected by the labour laws of host countries, with TISA they run the risk of being considered as independent service providers, no longer covered by labour laws" says Tony Salvador, keynote speaker PSI’s Global Trade in Services Forum, From GATS to TISA, held in partnership with the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) and the Our World Is Not For Sale (OWINFS) network.

Video: Herta Däubler-Gmelin, Professor of law, former member of Parliament and Minister of Justice, Germany

17 October 2014

'It is important to consult not only European parliamentarians but also national parliamentarians" says Herta Däubler-Gmelin, keynote speaker at PSI’s Global Trade in Services Forum, From GATS to TISA, held in partnership with the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) and the Our World Is Not For Sale (OWINFS) network.

Photos: PSI Global Trade Summit

23 September 2014

PSI, affiliate leaders and partners convened in Washington, D.C., 15-17 September 2014 to discuss the new threats posed to workers, public services, democracy and our communities by trade and investment agreements.

Photos: People's Climate March 2014

23 September 2014

Following the strategic discussion on advancing social ownership of energy organised by the Trade Unions for Energy Democracy (TUED), PSI General Secretary, Rosa Pavanelli, and participants joined in the People's Climate March where over 400,000 people demonstrated in the streets of New York.

Video: Climate Change and Energy Democracy

22 September 2014

Ahead of the People's Climate March on 21 September in New York City, PSI General Secretary, Rosa Pavanelli, and author and activist Naomi Klein, talk about Climate Change, Energy Democracy and the role of the trade unions.

Audio: RadioLabour report on the Global Trade Summit

19 September 2014

Public services unions worldwide are determined to open to public scrutiny a new wave of global trade agreements, which are now being discussed behind closed doors. Listen to the RadioLabour report on PSI's Global Trade Summit.

Video: The history and geopolitics of trade in services

18 September 2014

Listen to Robert Stumberg, Professor of Law and Director Harrison Institute for Public Law/Georgetown Law, on how 30 years of liberalization and the new wave of trade agreements limit the role of government and deepen corporate power.

Video: Union leaders open new trade agreements to public debate

18 September 2014

Union leaders from around the world convened in Washington DC, 15-17 September 2014, to discuss the new threats posed to workers, public services, democracy and our communities by trade and investment agreements.

Video: From GATS to TISA: Corporate power, inequality and the new attacks on public services

17 September 2014

Listen to Deborah James', Director of International Programs Centre for Economic and Policy Research, analysis of the results of 30 years of liberalization and how the new wave of trade agreements limit the role of government and deepen corporate power.

Audio: Globe Trade Agreements for Corporations

04 September 2014

RadioLabour has prepared a special report on the global trade agreements: What they are and how they will affect working people.

Video: Trade agreements and the threat to quality public services

24 June 2014

Sanya Reid Smith - Third World Network, Guest speaker at PSI's Executive Board meeting in Nyon, Switzerland 24-25 June 2014.

Audio: A RadioLabour interview with Rosa Pavanelli on World Public Services Day

23 June 2014

Monday June 23: World Public Services Day. All around the world governments are attacking public services and the workers who help supply them. As well, a number of international trade agreements are jeopardizing the right of governments to provide public services instead of corporations.

Video: Nigerian public services union demands right to health in new constitution

03 June 2014

Watch this interview with Ayuba Wabba, President of the PSI-affiliated Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN). Brother Wabba has been selected to join a constitutional review committee considering health-related rights for the drafting of Nigeria's new constitution.

Video: Liberian Government denies compensation to health workers who die from Ebola while saving lives

03 June 2014

Watch an interview with Paul Tilame of the PSI-affiliated National Private Sector Health Workers Union of Liberia (NPSHWU) talking about the protests at the health ministers summit in Monrovia in April and the deaths of the health workers from Ebola.

Photos: Tax Justice & Anti-Corruption Forum, Argentina, April 2014

23 May 2014

More than 100 members of affiliate unions of Public Services International (PSI) came together from across the Americas for a Tax Justice and Anti-Corruption Forum in Buenos Aires, Argentina in late April 2014.