The report, Africa: A new balance for social security , analyses important recent developments and trends in social security across the continent. The report points to examples and good practices of social security programmes that have successfully extended coverage, including to previously unprotected workers, older persons and families. The report will be presented at the Regional Social Security Forum for Africa, which opens in Arusha, United Republic of Tanzania, on 5 December.
“New evidence confirms significant and rapid progress in extending social security coverage in a number of countries in Africa,” said Hans-Horst Konkolewsky, the ISSA Secretary General.
“A reinvigorated policy focus on the extension of coverage, combined with improved governance and administration, and a greater emphasis on forward-looking and earlier interventions, mean that African social security institutions are contributing to social cohesion and economic development in new ways,” he noted.
Proactive and preventive approaches in social security
The report also highlights African dimensions of an emerging global trend – a “new balance” – that witnesses social security systems according a greater role to proactive and preventive policy approaches. The aim of these is to support improvements in the quality and adequacy of benefits and services, as well as in governance and administration.
However, with levels of social security coverage on the continent often inadequate, the report recognizes that extending coverage further remains Africa’s major social policy challenge.
In spite of multiple external challenges, including widespread informal employment, inadequate basic social infrastructure, and a high burden of infectious and chronic disease, the report’s conclusions offer ground for optimism for the stronger development of social security in Africa.