Labour and Trade Unions in Africa

3. Labour and Unions in Africa

3.1. Colonial Labour Policies in Africa

Research on Forced Labour, on which colonial empires relied until the 1950’s and 1960’s, was developed by one of the earliest workgroups of CEAUP.

From 2002 onwards, CEAUP has offered significant contributions to this new field of scientific research (CEAUP: 2002; 2004; 2006(a); 2006(b); 2007; 2009; 2010). The project allowed us to establish comparative perspectives and to network with institutions and researchers, especially from Africa and Europe. As final outputs two large overviews were also published in English:

- "Taxation in (Portuguese-ruled) colonial Africa: a first approach (1900-1945)" by A. Keese, P. Havik, M. Santos (2015)

- "Networks and Trans-Cultural Exchange: Slave Trading in the South Atlantic 1590-1867", Ribeiro da Silva and Richardson (eds.), (2013).

 Following these researches, CEAUP is now engaged in producing two new sets of outputs, both to be worked within an enlarged international network of researchers:

  • A comparative overview of Forced Labour Legislation – from the slave trade to the Indigenous Labour Codes of colonial administrations. This will include the publication of primary sources;
  • A data base on archival records of Portuguese Colonial Administration reports. This will provide a very important research tool for researchers of the former Portuguese Africa and Asia. An Atlas of Labour Polices in Portuguese Colonial Administration is included in the output list of the project.

  

3.2. Labour and Trade Unions in African States

This project aims to organize an Observatory of African Trade Union, whcih implies the collection of reliable data under a comparative framework.

All data will be collected in order to produce comprehensive overviews on African Labour Unions. This and all the other outputs of the project are intended to be useful not only to labour experts but also to anyone interested in studying or dealing with African Unions.

This project started with the network of Union officials and researchers that has arised  as a by product of the International Conference on Trade Unions and Labour in Africa, organized by the CEAUP in March 2017. The Conference was supported by the International Labour Organization and was co-organized with the OATUU (Organization of African Trade Union Unity) and the Portuguese Confederation CGTP. More than 30 African Trade Union officials attended the works, which concluded that an Observatory of African Trade Unions should be developed as a common research project. The project was developed in the following months and it includes the following set of expected outputs:

1) - a data base on African Union Confederations ;

2) two overviews: one on institutional Labour History and another on the pattern of industrial conflicts in Africa

3) an Atlas of African Trade Union Federations;

4) a compilation of oral sources of African Unionism;

5) a documentary film

6) a text book for students
7)-a platform designed to lodge the data, multimedia, research results (reports, w-papers) and general information

R&D Supported by

R&D Unit integrated in the project number UID/HIS/00495/2019.

 

Contacts

Centro de Estudos Africanos da Universidade do Porto
Via panorâmica, s/n
4150-564 Porto
Portugal

+351 22 607 71 41
ceaup@letras.up.pt