New ISSA report on social security developments in Africa

New ISSA report on social security developments in Africa

The International Social Security Association’s (ISSA) has launched its new report Social security developments and trends – Africa 2023, which spotlights innovations and practices that contribute to expanding and improving social security in the region.

The report outlines important developments and innovations, and how social security institutions are pushing forward the social security agenda. It will inform discussions during the Regional Social Security Forum for Africa that starts today.

“With this report, the ISSA aims to build knowledge and nurture discussions that will contribute to further strengthening social security in Africa”, says Marcelo Abi-Ramia Caetano, ISSA Secretary General.

In Africa, the key issue is extending social security coverage. Despite considerable progress, coverage rates still lag behind other regions. Only 17.4 per cent of the population is covered by at least one social protection benefit, compared to 46.9 per cent globally.

However, progress is being made. The report notes that nearly all countries in Africa have adopted comprehensive national social security development plans and strategies, and these efforts are supported by the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) ambitious strategy to accelerate towards 40 per cent social security coverage by 2025, and the ISSA’s work with its members at the institutional level. The ILO and the ISSA work hand in hand to contribute to reaching the global goal of social protection for all by 2030, in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The efforts and achievements on extending coverage tie into other key trends and developments for social security in Africa, which are described in separate chapters in the report. For one, the extension of coverage enhance people’s protection during their changing life-course through coordinated social programmes. Such developments are strongly based on management transformations and innovations, and institutions across Africa have made significant efforts to professionalize and modernize management practices. These achievements increase institutional and societal resilience, which have shown to be key to mitigating the negative impacts of unpredictable shocks, such as the COVID-19 crisis.

The report also outlines how important legal reforms are being made across Africa to expand coverage. It provides concrete examples of reforms to improve coverage under old-age pension schemes and introduce or expand health care schemes. It pays attention to efforts to extend contributory social security schemes to difficult-to-cover groups, such as the self-employed, workers in the informal economy, migrant workers and others.

Interactive format

The regional report on social security developments and trends in Africa is presented as an e-publication, in an interactive web-based format that enables readers to navigate the content with ease and facilitate knowledge sharing. It provides easy access to a wealth of information and resources on the specific topics covered in the report. In addition, a print-friendly pdf-version is also available.