The HomeNet Africa strategic plan identifies 5 key strategic areas to focus on in the years 2022-2026; one amongst them “Growing regionally to be fully representative of the continent from east to west and north to south including the diverse nations of Africa.” To this end, the annual plan for the period starting May 2023 and ending April 2024 has scheduled visits to possible countries where there are potential home-based worker groups already working with stakeholders known to HomeNet Africa participants. Currently there are plans of reaching out to Rwanda, Ghana, Nigeria, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The regional growth visit to Rwanda, courtesy of the “Trade Union for Domestics and Independent Workers in Informal Economy” SYTRIECI an affiliate of StreetNet International, was scheduled for the 15th – 17th August with a meeting with the leadership on the 15th and general meeting with the membership; especially the home-based worker group representatives. The general meeting brought together about 17 home-based worker representatives who produce a diverse category of products ranging from weaving, sewing, soap making and carvings. It also had the leadership and staff of six from SYTRIECI whose tasks are the management and organising of about 8,000 members who can be grouped as home-based workers, street vendors and home-based workers.
The general meeting discussed and deliberated on the following;
- Acknowledged the work done by home-based workers, the need to identify and operate as home-based workers and the need for SYTRIECI to support that home-based workers gain an identity through the creation of a cooperative to pursue home-based workers needs and aspirations.
- It was also agreed that going forward about five home-based worker representatives will be facilitated to participate in the monthly HomeNet Africa online meetings as well as any physical meetings scheduled in the calendar year.
- It ws also agreed that SYTRIECI will explore the possibility of joining HomeNet International to provide an opportunity for the home-based worker members to get representation at the global level.
- The group also agreed that home-based workers in Rwanda, through the support of SYTRIECI, will mobilise, organise, recruit and build a national network and fully participate in the network building of HomeNet Africa.