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53 trade unionists graduate from IndustriALL MENA leadership academy

12 January, 2023The IndustriALL MENA leadership academy was established in 2018, responding to the need to develop a new generation of trade unionists, providing them with tools for organizing, building union power, implementing GFAs and just transition.

“IndustriALL is very proud of the outcome of leadership training academy in MENA and we would like to congratulate the 53 trade unionist who graduated in December 2022,”

says Atle Høie, IndustriALL general secretary

Since 2018, over 150 trade unionists from the Middle East and North Africa have graduated from the leadership academy. The academy started initially in collaboration with the youth and Sarah Flores, IndustriALL youth officer. Now, it also focuses on engaging more women and on cross sectoral issues.

IndustriALL regional secretary for the MENA region, Ahmed Kamel, explains that traditionally, trade union training focuses on organizing.

“We wanted to go a step further and speak on specific issues like sectors, supply chains, Industry 4.0, GFAs, Just Transition and the future of work. It was difficult to find people trained on this in the union, which is why we developed the academy.”

The training is structured around four main areas:

  1. Basic union education (ILO standards, national laws)

  2. Social security and collective bargaining

  3. Organizing through the supply chain

  4. Supply chains and the future of work (industry 4.0, digitalization just transition, gig economy)

The course, which lasts for two years, starts with 12-15 days training. Then participants develop a graduation project on a topic related to their union, using the knowledge from the course.

After presenting the project, it is taken to the respective union where IndustriALL and the union discuss the integration of the project into their union. It could be through an organizing campaign, developing a leaflet, developing training materials for their union, etc.

In 2019, several unionists from the textile union in Tunisia, Fédération Générale du Textile, de l'Habillement, Chaussure et Cuir - FGTHCC-UGTT, joined the academy. The union established committees and ran a massive campaign on organizing, managing to organize 7,000 workers in one year.


“Since the academy started, we have seen so many young union activists becoming more involved in their unions and increasing their participation in union activities. We have several cases of young activists and women getting leadership positions within the national union structures. This is an encouraging outcome, and we are grateful to the experts and trainers from who have made this possible”

says Ahmed Kamel.

The Academy and related activities are supported by Dutch FNV, Swedish Union to Union and German FES