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27.07.2005 General News

TUC urges strong West African integration


Accra, July 27, GNA - Mr Kwasi Adu-Amankwa, Secretary General of the Ghana Trades Union Congress (GTUC), on Wednesday emphasised the need for strong West African regional integration to meet the challenges of globalisation and reap its benefits to the full.

He was presenting a paper on "Globalisation as a Major Challenge to Developing Nations" and argued that it would not be out of place for them to build strong economic blocs to protect their interests in the competitive world economic order as the advanced countries had done. Mr Adu-Amankwa was speaking at the opening of a two-day international workshop of Pan African Union of Local Government Employees, being held at the Institute of Local Government Studies at Madina, near Accra.

Local government workers, technocrats, unionists and politicians are attending the workshop, organised by the Local Government Workers Union of the GTUC and the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) of the Labour Congress of Nigeria.

Mr Adu-Amankwa said there had been earlier attempts to globalise Africa, adding that strides in transportation facilities and technology presented the world with more opportunities and challenges.

He underscored the role of strong regional integration, self-reliance and good governance by making local governance institutions work as effective means to meet the challenges of globalisation.

The President of NULGE, Mr Kenneth Tinubu made a strong case to broaden the operational horizon of local government employees. He said local government workers must continue to update their knowledge in international standards of local government practices to remain part of the international and global work force.

The workshop is the second to be held in Ghana in two years and Mr Tinubu explained that Ghana was chosen because of the relative political stability and its functional democratic governance.

He announced that the workshop would soon be held annually. Mr William Mensah, General Secretary of the Ghana Local Government Workers Union, underlined the bilateral relations between the two unions for a united front by continuing with the relationship it had begun to build.

He announced that the two unions were planning a joint visit to South Africa to study its local government system.

Mr Gameli Akoto, General Secretary of the Health Services Workers Union, called for a well-organised local government system, stressing that the citizens must know their rights to promote good governance. The local government system should also have resources to take up its challenges, Mr Akoto said.