Financial services firm, Zamara has called on stakeholders in social security to be more innovative and inclusive to enhance and deepen social security in the region.
Zamara Group CEO, Sundeep Raichura, said that to to remain more resilient and grow the coverage of social security schemes in Africa, there was need to have a collective approach and leverage on technology to make systems more efficient and accessible.
While addressing the African Social Security Conference that brought together over 150 thought leaders and experts on social security from across the continent Raichura reiterated the importance of exploring new models of financing and risk-sharing that can withstand the shocks of an unpredictable world.
(TOP: Zamara Group CEO Sundeep Raichura – centre – flanked by Labour and Social Protection CS Florence Bore – left – and NSSF Managing Trustee David Koros – right – addresses journalists during the African Social security conference held in Diani Kwale County).
“No single entity or organization can tackle the complex challenges we face alone. Governments, businesses, civil society, and international partners must work together in a coordinated effort to build resilient social security systems. We must learn from each other’s experiences, share best practices, and collectively devise solutions that benefit all”. He explained.
Raichura underscored the importance of designing and implementing social security strategies that incorporates the most vulnerable members of society and the needs of marginalized groups such as women, the elderly, persons with disabilities, and those living in remote areas.
Florence Bore, the CS for Labour and Social Protection, who opened the event said social security systems had played a key role in societies since times immemorial through economic transformation. During the pandemic, social security programmes were used to channel support by way of financial assistance/grants, stimulus payments, unemployment benefits, distribution of vaccines and provision of support to the vulnerable and often isolated members of society. Social security systems provide a means of social cohesion by fostering a sense of collective responsibility and solidarity within society. It can help strengthen social bonds and mitigate social tensions. “
The Cabinet Secretary, however warned that excessive or poorly targeted and structured social security spending could potentially strain government budgets leading to inefficiencies and impact economic growth negatively.
The Labour CS said the Conference whose theme, “Burning Issues in Social Security – Strategies for Resilience in Uncertain Times,” encapsulated the urgency of the situation and called for collective efforts to address the situation.
Some of the challenges that the sector has faced include inadequate coverage, financial sustainability, demographic shifts, and the digital divide.