While political upheavals in Africa have been widely reported, we hear little about the role of unions, including teachers unions. Yet as one columnist explains in a May Day blog well worth reading and sharing, "strong, mass and independent trade unions are schools of democracy and have been crucial in democracy building, from the workplace to the national level in Africa." The column explains why trade union characteristics position them for social and political leadership, making them "especially feared by authoritarian regimes."

Teachers’ unions are usually the largest in African nations, and are often the most radical. In Nigeria, the National Union of Teachers has representation in all Nigeria’s 36 states, from the northeast where Boko Haram ravages, the cosmopolitan democracy bastion Lagos and to the oil-rich Niger Delta characterized by resource conflicts and violence.

Teachers and their unions in  Sudan, Algeria, and Morocco have been key in their nations' struggles for democracy, as have teachers in Tunisia, who staged a demonstration in December 2018, in a protest ignored by Western media.

Building international solidarity among teachers and their unions is a primary goal of this website.  We welcome stories and reports about activities of teachers throughout the world, especially the global South, which is often the testing ground for the most pernicious reforms of powerful elites.



Photo: High school and secondary school teachers stage a demonstration demanding wage increase, early retirement and education reform in Tunis, Tunisia on 12 December 2018 [Nacer Talel/Anadolu Agency]