The Challenge of Obtaining a Decent Work Environment in Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Bente Elisabeth MoenEmail author
  • Israel Paul Nyarubeli
  • Alexander M. Tungu
  • Aiwerasia Vera Ngowi
  • Abera Kumie
  • Wakgari Deressa
  • Simon Henry David Mamuya
Part of the Sustainable Development Goals Series book series (SDGS)


Workers represent half of the world’s population and are the major contributors to socio-economic development. Continued, sustainable socio-economic development is only possible if workers have a decent working environment. The headline for Sustainable Development Goal 8 is to ‘Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all’, while sub-goal 8.8 is to ‘Protect labour rights and promote safe and secure working environments for all workers’. However, globally millions of working men and women have poor and hazardous working conditions. Despite knowledge about effective interventions to prevent occupational hazards and to protect and promote health at the workplace, large gaps exist between and within countries regarding the health status of workers and their exposure to occupational risks. This chapter will describe present work environment situations in Sub-Saharan Africa through focusing on four important industries: floriculture, construction, mining and textiles. Actions are suggested for improvements while the importance of developing competence and knowledge on occupational health in these Sub-Saharan African countries are underlined. There must be increased awareness of dangerous workplaces as well as efforts to prevent occupational accidents and diseases.


Employment Occupational health and safety Work environment Sub-Saharan Africa 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bente Elisabeth Moen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Israel Paul Nyarubeli
    • 1
  • Alexander M. Tungu
    • 2
  • Aiwerasia Vera Ngowi
    • 2
  • Abera Kumie
    • 3
  • Wakgari Deressa
    • 3
  • Simon Henry David Mamuya
    • 2
  1. 1.University of BergenBergenNorway
  2. 2.Muhimbili University of Health and Allied SciencesDar es SalaamTanzania
  3. 3.Addis Ababa UniversityAddis AbabaEthiopia

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