Social Protection in East Africa

Social Protection in East Africa

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OECD Development Centre

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26 Apr 2017
9789264274228 (PDF) ;9789264274211(print)

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This strategic foresight report assesses the interaction between demographics, economic development, climate change and social protection in six countries in East Africa between now and 2065: Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. The report combines population projections with trends in health, urbanisation, migration and climate change and identifies the implications for economic development and poverty. It concludes by identifying policies to address seven grand challenges for social protection planners in national governments and donor agencies which emerge from the projections. These include: eliminating extreme poverty; extending social insurance in a context of high informality; the rapid growth of the working-age population, in particular the youth; adapting social protection to urban settings; protecting the poor from the effects of climate change; harnessing a demographic dividend; and substantially increasing funding for social protection.

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  • Foreword and acknowledgements

    The African Union’s Agenda 2063 framework reaffirms the centrality of social protection in Africa’s strategy for eradicating poverty and ensuring sustainable and equitable development. Yet a number of emerging demographic, economic and environmental trends jeopardise human well-being and challenge Africa’s vision for social protection. The genesis of this report lies in the growing realisation that the considerable livelihood threats which lie ahead are unique opportunities for policy makers to shape the future of social protection in the continent in a way that will also foster Africa’s broader development path.

  • Acronyms and abbreviations
  • Executive summary

    Social protection, broadly defined as a set of public instruments to protect people from an absence or substantial reduction in income, lies at the heart of Africa’s development strategy. In the African Union’s Agenda 2063 framework document, “The Africa We Want”, social protection is recognised as both an economic and a social necessity, capable of promoting inclusive, people-driven and sustainable economic growth, eradicating poverty, reducing inequality and generating resilience to future shocks.

  • Assessment and recommendations

    The 21st century has been a period of great achievement for most countries in Africa. Sustained and robust economic growth and greater political stability across the region have accompanied a significant decline in poverty and major improvements in living standards. According to the World Bank, the proportion of people living in extreme poverty fell from 57% in 1990 to 43% in 2012, while the rate of mortality among children under 5 has almost halved, from 173 per 1 000 live births in 1995 to 92 in 2013. Net primary school enrolment rose from 59% in 1999 to 79% in 2012.

  • Confronting massive demographic and environmental challenges

    This chapter examines the demographic and environmental challenges that lie ahead in six East African states as the first step in identifying key parameters that will shape the future of social protection in the region. The six countries – Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia – exhibit similar demographic trends. However, differences exist between them that will have important implications not only for their population in the future but also for their broader development.

  • Forecasting economic and social trends for long-term social protection planning

    Identifying how Africa’s population boom will interact with key socio-economic trends is crucial to understanding the evolving needs for social protection and the context within which it will operate. This chapter forecasts economic and social trends of key interest to social protection planners in the sample countries. It estimates the rate at which these economies and their per capita incomes will grow, as well as the impact this growth will have on poverty. It also projects the structure of the economy and the labour force in order to show how workers are likely to be employed over the next 50 years.

  • Towards a long-term perspective on social protection

    The previous chapters identified key emerging demographic, economic and environmental trends that will affect livelihoods in East Africa over the next 50 years. This chapter will demonstrate how social protection can help countries in the region adapt to these coming challenges at the same time as it supports the current efforts of governments to eradicate poverty, reduce vulnerability and promote the sustainable, inclusive and people-centred development envisaged by Agenda 2063. This chapter identifies ways in which the previous findings can be turned into policy directions that could foster the development of social protection systems able to address the many challenges that lie ahead. These policy directions are grouped into seven fundamental challenges for social protection planners.

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