French-Speaking Africa Team

JILAF invited a team of 11 persons (including 2 women) from nine French-speaking African countries to visit Japan from November 6 to 19.

For the participants, this was the first time for trade union executives from the nine African countries to take part in training together. Throughout the program, they actively engaged in discussions and strengthened solidarity among their countries. In particular, many participants displayed a deep interest in Japan’s labour-management consultation system and productivity movement. In order to achieve job stability for workers in their own countries, they showed a keenness to introduce such systems with reference to the labour-management consultation system and efforts to improve productivity in Japan.

In discussions with executives at RENGO Saitama, Japan’s international cooperation, including official development assistance, was mentioned, and the participants made such comments as “We look forward to Japanese assistance in vocational training toward the creation of employment for young people in Africa.” In a visit to the Water Bureau of Saitama City, they acquired knowledge of advanced technology relating to micro hydroelectric power generation, which would be easy to introduce in Africa as well. In addition, in a visit to the Tsurumi Plant of Morinaga & Co., Ltd., the participants were able to observe the manufacturing process by which African-made cacao is transformed into products with added value after its import into Japan. They shared the recognition that it is necessary for labour and management in Africa to cooperate and understand the principles of productivity in order to supply competitive products and services.

In their visit to Hiroshima, the participants saw tragic pictures of atomic bomb use and learned how Japan’s postwar policies of nonmilitarization and democratization played an important role in the formation of the present-day Japanese economy and society. A participant from Cote d’Ivoire commented, “I want to call on our national center to establish a committee for peacekeeping activities in my country.”

List of Cooperating Organizations

RENGO SaitamaSaitama Labour Bureau
Hello Work OmiyaIndustry and Labour Division, Saitama Prefecture
Water Bureau, Saitama CitySaitama City Branch, Zensuido (All-Japan Water Supply Workers’ Union)
Aeon Retail Workers’ UnionFood Rengo (Federation of All Japan Foods and Tobacco Workers’ Unions)
Morinaga & Co., Ltd. Tsurumi PlantAll-Morinaga Labour Union
Zenrosai (National Federation of Workers and Consumers Insurance Cooperatives)

Many thanks to everyone.

Photos of the Participants

Discussions at RENGO

Lecture at the Japan Productivity Center

In front of the Atomic Bomb Dome in Hiroshima

Visit to the Saitama Labour Bureau

Visit to Hello Work Omiya

Visit to the Industry and Labour Division of the Saitama Prefectural Government

Discussion with RENGO Saitama executives

Visit to the Saitama City Water Bureau

Discussions with executives of the All-Morinaga Labour Union