Southern Africa Worker Educators’ Network

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Welcome to the Southern Africa Worker Educators’ Network (SAWEN).

SAWEN is a web-based network of trade union and worker educators based in countries of the Southern Africa region. Formed during December 2015, at workshop of representatives of most countries, the network aims to ensure a revival of education and training that will strengthen the labour movement and empower workers and their representatives politically and organisationally.

This need to network and share education and training resources through a regional co-operative was based on our assessment that the labour movement had been weakened on all fronts over the past 20 years. Many trade unions in the region have become bureaucratised and conservative, at times and unwilling to represent workers’ interests. Many trade unions are dominated by powerful leaders who are predominantly focus on “social dialogue”, at the expense of ordinary members interests and concerns.  

SAWEN believes that by sharing our experience, knowledge and resources we can play a role in supporting the revival of workers’ organisation in the region from below.

The network is based on principles of sharing and being a co-operative, in line with the slogan “From each according to their ability/capacity and to each according to their needs.”

SAWEN will be:

  • Non-donor driven and a low cost initiative
  • Use IT & Social Media to ensure access and easy sharing

The inaugural workshop of December, 2015 also agreed that:

  • Countries and organisations should submit detailed reports and include needs requests.
  • We also need co-ordination and someone to upload materials and reports
  • Initially it will have closed access to the website with codes for each participating organisation and;
  • Materials should be submitted via a group Email to be posted onto the website.

For now we are sharing and co-operating around educational materials. We could consider sharing ideas/perspectives and our capacity as well as events that are happening and piggyback onto them.

For further information or if you wish to join the network contact:

Publications for Worker Education

Basic Shopstewards Training Manual (pdf 8.8MB)

Let’s Get Organised – activist handbook (pdf 1.4MB)

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