Press Release

President Obama Must Address Worker and Human Rights in East Africa

Statement by AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Tefere Gebre on President Obama’s Visit to East Africa

We call on President Obama to address ongoing worker and human rights conditions in Kenya, Ethiopia, and the East Africa region.  During his visit, he should focus on broad-based economic growth that is not just based on increased trade and private investment but on citizen engagement in communities, workplaces.  The President should use this opportunity to articulate a vision for shared economic prosperity.

The renewal of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) plus continuing initiatives on power, public health, and food security signal positive engagement with Africa, but only if the social and economic needs of workers, communities, and the most vulnerable are prioritized and integrated into these U.S. development initiatives. 

As we stated last year, the labor movements in Africa and in the U.S. pledged to stand together to hold our leaders accountable to their commitments to an inclusive economic agenda that creates decent work and addresses the needs of workers and their families. 

Support for democracy, good governance, and freedom of association for unions and civil society organizations must also continue to be hallmarks of U.S. engagement in Africa.

Contact: Gonzalo Salvador (202) 637-5018