Windhoek-Minister of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare Bishop Zephania Kameeta says a comprehensive social protection system should be “socially inclusive and acknowledge the rights of every Namibian citizen”.
Kameeta made the remarks during a recent three-day seminar that interrogated the comprehensive integrated social protection system tool.
“In my opinion, a comprehensive social protection system should be socially inclusive, should be a system that recognises the right of each and every Namibian to live a dignified life,” noted Kameeta.
The Ministry of Poverty Alleviation, with international partners UNICEF, OECD, EU and GIZ, last week concluded the workshop that paid particular attention to strengthening social protection mechanisms that are in place.
Social experts at the workshop were drawn from Malawi, Ghana, Finland and other sectors of the Namibian economy and agreed that social protection should be regarded as a human right, not an assistance mechanism.
Experts further conceded that Namibia has one of the best social protection mechanisms in Africa.
Kameeta echoed similar sentiments, saying “the key challenge that prompted the government of Namibia to review the social protection landscape is that these programmes are scattered across various ministries and agencies, which in turn undermines the efficiency and effectiveness of the system.”
UNICEF country representative Micaela de Sousa reassured the government of UNICEF’s wholehearted support for the social protection system initiative.
“Allow me to reassure you that working in partnership with our United Nations agencies, UNICEF will continue to support the government’s efforts to build a comprehensive, child sensitive social protection system in Namibia,” she said.
Namibia’s social protection system includes government social grants provided in form of cash such as pensioner and disability grants, or in the form of food aid.