NIR launches a Sustainable Bank Management Programme in Cuba 2016-2019

In December 2016, NIR launched a 3 years programme in Cuba – “Sustainable Bank Management”. The programme is composed by academic training, focusing on areas of international trade and banking, as well as an extensive case study work, where the theoretical knowledge is applied onto practical processes. The effect of the programme is thus a development process; where real challenges are analysed and solved in the form of case studies with continuous support from Swedish tutors. A total of 75 people will be trained, divided into 3 different consecutive batches of 25 participants each. The programme builds upon experience from NIR’s previous collaboration with Cuba in 1999 and 2002 through the Bank Management Training, conducted by NIR in partnership with the Central Bank of Cuba and The Swedish Centre for Banking and Finance. Then as now the programme is funded by Sida.

A first visit to Havana within the new programme took place in mid-February. Together with the Central Bank of Cuba, its National Training Centre and commercial banks, the most relevant issues to include in the training were identified.

More recent highlights



lack of enabling environment for social dialogue at the workplace level, despite the provision of legislative acts that protect and promote workplace cooperation is a reoccuring issue  in Kenya. To implement good policy there must be a fertil ground.

Therefore SWP developed the UP!  project. Together with Swedish companies as an entry point, and with unions i South africa and Kenya. 

In Kenya SWP created the SWP UP! Programme targeting skills development of the union Shop Stewards from 18 companies in the Automotive sector in Kenya during 2021. As a result, the Stewards were able to use their skills to build trust and cooperation with management in new ways to avoid conflicts. 

A second cohort of training, in close cooperation with union AUKMW, takes place in 2022.

The training allows shop stewards to step out of their daily routines and understand their role and the purpose of their union, understand the labour market context, the laws that regulate relationships and the business itself. But on a human level, many shop stewards also highlighted that they feel respected as human beings, and that they have developed the skills to engage with supervisors and management and experience respect in professional relations. The experiences had deeply impressed them and helped to project the vision of dialogue and mutual respect and their own potential as a means to change workplaces.

The intervention of the SWP programme had a direct effect at the workplaces, where shop stewards listed several cases where they had managed to intervene and secure results in dialogue with management, avert crises or find solutions based on opportunities and the communication skills obtained during the SWP training. For the Amalgamated Metal Workers Unions in Kenya, the shop stewards pointed to how the training had enabled them to design their own strategies at the workplace in relation to supervisors and staff, and to achieve many concrete results.

Based on this shop steward upskilling, I feel confident that as a union we now have change ambassadors that will grow the industry, protect, and promote decent work principles for both the employer and the employees represented. And that disputes will be dealt with at the workplace level by though consultative dialogue.

Rose Omamo

General Secretary
Amalgamated Union of Kenya Metal Workers