AASEP TREASURY: Burkina hands over the torch to Niger.

AASEP TREASURY: Burkina hands over the torch to Niger.

The conference room of the ANPE in Burkina Faso hosted this Saturday, May 6, 2023 at 9 am the handover ceremony between the outgoing and incoming treasurers of the African Association of Public Employment Services (AASEP), under the actual chairmanship of the Minister of Sports, Youth and Employment of the country, Mr. Boubakar Sawadogo. He was joined by the Secretary General of the above mentioned department, Mr. Ibrahim Ag Nock, President of the AASEP, and Director General of the Malian ANPE, as well as his counterparts, the Directors General of the Public Employment Services ( PES) of Niger (incoming Treasurer), Gabon (Auditor), Burkina Faso (outgoing Treasurer), and Guinea Conakry (the next country to host an important WAPES event).

The ceremony was highlighted by several key moments, including the words of welcome by the DG of the ANPE of Burkina, Mr. Frédéric KABORE, followed by the speech of the President of the AASEP, Ibrahim Ag Nock, as well as the official opening ceremony with the speech of the incoming Treasurer, Mr. Ibrahim NAHANTCHI, Director General of the ANPE of Niger, and finally the speech of the Minister, Mr. Boubakar Sawadogo.

In his welcoming speech, the DG of the ANPE of Burkina Faso, Mr. Frédéric KABORE, first thanked his peers of the Region for the trust and confidence they have placed in his country, through his leadership, since 2015. He praised President Ibrahim Ag Nock’s strong management of the organisation, creating a new dynamic. All this has significantly impacted on mobilising financial resources, mainly from the contributions of PES members. This has doubled the income, with , as performance indicators, regular holding of meetings and smooth running of the bodies (Bamako in 2019, Geneva and Kinshasa in 2022 and now Ouagadougou).

Moreover, he said, both AASEP and WAPES regularly managed to organise and hold planned activities in the African region. According to the Director General of ANPE in Burkina, since 2018 the AASEP presidency in Mali has undoubtedly given the AASEP more visibility and legibility.

However, referring to the minutes of the accounts closing on the 5th of May 2023, he deplored the high rate of unpaid dues amounting to more than the double of what is currently available in the AASEP account. He therefore urged his successor to develop a more appropriate strategy for mobilising its own resources to maintain and hopefully increase the Association’s level of achievement of its objectives. Finally, Mr Kaboré wished his successor good luck and success in fulfilling his mission and assured him of his total commitment to support him.

As for the President of the AASEP, he began his speech by observing a one-minute silence in memory of all the victims of the ongoing security crisis in the continent. He then thanked the highest authorities of Burkina Faso for having accepted to host this ceremony in Ouagadougou despite the multiple challenges of the moment. He then congratulated and thanked the Director General of the Burkina Faso ANPE for his transparent and efficient management of the regional organisation’s treasury for a decade without ever failing in his mission. He explained that currently 20 countries in sub-Saharan Africa are members of the AASEP, which is a branch of WAPES, consisting of 80 PES countries from around the world, divided into 5 geographical areas or regions.

Ibrahim Ag Nock welcomed the fact that the African Region is the second most represented at WAPES after Europe. This demonstrates the continent’s interest in this worldwide institution, as an instrument for cooperation and the sharing of knowledge and experience. Nevertheless, the President of the AASEP reiterated his invitation to the Minister, Boubakar Sawadogo, to personally engage with his counterparts in the region to ensure greater political and institutional support for the PES in the fulfilment of their public service missions. In this regard, he reaffirmed the AASEP’s commitment to do everything possible for the creation of a consultation framework for ministers in charge of employment and vocational training issues at the regional level. To achieve this goal, he stated that he would be relying on the support and availability of Minister Sawadogo.

Finally, Mr. Ibrahim Ag Nock congratulated the Director General of the ANPE of Niger for the confidence placed in him and wished him all the best in his mission. Subsequently, Minister Boubakar Sawadogo officially welcomed the incoming treasurer and introduced him to his new position amidst loud cheers from the audience.

The latter then had the honour of delivering an address. He expressed his joy and pride for his country, Niger, for such a trust from his continental counterparts. However, given the legitimate ambitions of President Ibrahim Ag Nock’s team and the challenges related to the organisation’s restructuring, as well as the low level of contributions, he suggests taking time to carefully reflect on the structural organisation of the AASEP. In this respect, he recommends the creation of an administrative body that will be exclusively dedicated to monitoring actions on a full-time basis, like a Permanent Secretariat with a legal personality and the infrastructures that should go with it. He believes that this will ensure a better follow-up of the contributions, but also the sustainability of the actions and ideas in time and space.

Finally, he promised that Niger will undertake as soon as possible the development of a resource mobilisation strategy through the timely collection of fees to avoid compromising the dynamism initiated by the presidency of Mali at the head of the association since 2018.

In his speech closing the handover ceremony between the incoming and outgoing treasurers, Minister Boubakar Sawadogo insisted on the need to give more interest and means to the structures intervening on the labour market of our countries. The best way to achieve this today is to join up efforts and resources. This is why he fully supports the idea of creating a framework bringing together the various ministers in charge of these issues at the sub-regional and regional levels. He reiterated his commitment to involve himself personally in this process.

The Minister also made suggestions to the AASEP regarding communication with a view to give more visibility to the organisation among the actors and partners of the labour market. Finally, to conclude his speech, Minister Boubakar Sawadogo stated that he would spare no effort to support and accompany the initiatives and actions of the AASEP to effectively promote employment for the benefit of the PES members’ users.

A cocktail and a family photo ended the handover ceremony between the outgoing and incoming treasurers of the AASEP.
Following the ceremony, the President of the AASEP, Mr Ibrahim Ag Nock, offered a working lunch to all the delegations attending. This was held at the Ramada Hotel in Ouagadougou. The fruitful exchanges led to a broad consensus on the current problems and challenges facing PES in the region. Accordingly, the participants agreed to immediately undertake actions aimed at increasing membership fees, as well as setting up a consultation framework for ministers in charge of employment and vocational training, but also to develop the ROAME – Registre Officiel Africain des Métiers Emplois (Official African Register of Trades Jobs), and to share and deepen reflection on the creation of a digital platform called the Boulevard Africain d’Intermédiation – BAI (the African Intermediation Boulevard) , along with the organisation of an extraordinary general assembly in Conakry during the last quarter of 2023.

The Region is also ready to host an ordinary session of the WAPES Managing Board, if required.
We can therefore conclude that the handover between the outgoing and incoming treasurers has enabled AASEP to resolutely contemplate the present and the future through very ambitious structuring projects and programmes, those being achievable if everyone agrees to fully play their part. All things considered, it is obvious that President Ibrahim Ag Nock and his team now have a strong political and institutional support in the person of Minister Boubakar Sawadogo of Burkina Faso.

Source: Ibrahim SIDIBE, ANPE MALI / Vice President Africa Region / President AASEP.