Regional Forum to highlight social security as key to African development
The role of social security in the development agenda in Africa will be the focus of a high-level gathering of African social security leaders and policy-makers at the first Regional Social Security Forum for Africa, in Kigali, Rwanda, 18-20 November 2008.
Organized by the International Social Security Association (ISSA) in collaboration with the Social Security Fund of Rwanda, the Forum will hear new evidence on how social security systems in several African countries have effectively responded to the needs of their populations, and have successfully extended coverage to provide sustainable income security to some of the most vulnerable groups in society.
The new ISSA report on developments and trends prepared for the Forum, Dynamic Social Security for Africa: An Agenda for Development , points to examples where African social security schemes have realized improvements in coverage, governance and administration. The report recognizes that major gaps in coverage persist and identifies areas where priority action is now needed. The report will be published in English and French and available on the ISSA Web portal on 17 November 2008.
The programme of the first Regional Social Security Forum for Africa will focus on three key themes for social security organizations in the region:
- Extension of coverage of social health protection to uncovered parts of the population;
- Extension of coverage of social security pensions as a basis for old-age security in low-income countries;
- Good governance of social security schemes and the improved efficiency and delivery of benefits.
The Social Security Summit
A highlight of the event, a Social Security Summit will discuss social security's role in the context of the complex humanitarian and socio-economic challenges facing Africa today and in the future, including the potential impact of the global financial crisis. The Summit will involve ministers and high-level policy-makers from the region and representatives of international organizations, including the African Union, the International Labour Office and the World Health Organization.
The ISSA Good Practice Awards
The ISSA has inaugurated an Award programme to recognize good practices in the administration of social security. The Awards are presented on a regional basis at each ISSA Regional Social Security Forum over a three-year cycle. For the Africa round, a total of 27 submissions were received from 13 countries. The first ISSA Good Practice Award and certificates of merit will be announced during the Forum.
Information for media
The Regional Social Security Forum for Africa is open to media professionals. A press conference will be organized on 18 November in the Kigali Serena Hotel and ISSA staff will be available to facilitate interviews and locate sources.