The overall objective of the Center of Excellence for Social Protection (CEPS), an initiative of the Government of Senegal, in particular the Ministry of Community Development, Social Equity, is to provide a platform for exchange and sharing of innovative solutions for development, knowledge, experiences and good practices, and at the same time for learning in the field of social protection and poverty reduction, mainly between African countries within the broader framework of South-South cooperation. South.
To achieve this, a feasibility study for the creation of the Center was conducted with the technical and financial support of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) following the request of the Government of Senegal. The results of this study were recently shared at a meeting that brought together government departments, the national United Nations system, technical and financial partners as well as civil society organizations. It was also an opportunity to share experiences and dialogue for a common understanding of the opportunities and challenges related to the operationalization of CEPS and to define the key elements of the roadmap. Indeed, Senegal has become a benchmark in terms of social protection in terms of assistance and support for disadvantaged people. Consequently, it has become the preferred destination for several study and benchmarking tours of many African countries. Senegal has achieved commendable results in various areas of construction and coverage of the social protection system.
These efforts have now made it possible to cover more than 30% of the vulnerable population through numerous social safety net projects and programs, including the National Program for Family Security Subsidies (PNBSF), Universal Health Coverage (CMU), the Equal Opportunities Card (EOC) and the National Health Insurance Fund (NHAF), the Equal Opportunities Card (CEC) and structural projects. These include the Emergency Community Development Program (PUDC) and the Emergency Program for the Modernization of Border Zones and Territories (PUMA), aimed at strengthening equity and territorial balance through the construction of infrastructure . These are the achievements and programs highlighted in the speech of Ms. Aminata SOW, General Delegate for Social Protection and National Solidarity (DGPSN) who officially opened the workshop.
Building on these significant achievements and the need to increase knowledge generation to strengthen the social protection sector, the Government of Senegal has found it strategically important to establish the Center of Excellence on Social Protection (CEP) to enhance its experiences and strengthen its formalization of exchanges on social protection between Senegal and other countries.
“We are thus taking an important step towards setting up a platform for the exchange and sharing of innovative solutions for the development of knowledge, experience and good practices, and for learning in the field of protection. poverty reduction, mainly between African countries and within the more global framework of South-South cooperation”, explained Mr. Makhfousse Sarr, program officer at FAO Senegal.
The main functions of the future Center will be to serve as:
– an observatory of issues and experiences; strengths and weaknesses; opportunities and challenges in social protection.
– a laboratory for building the capacities of social protection actors, for exchanges and the search for solutions, with an emphasis on innovation and scaling up processes.
– a showcase to highlight good practices, opportunities for building partnerships and promoting successful experiences and consolidating capitalization, sharing with other countries and scaling up good practices in of social protection.
The project to create a Center of Excellence for Social Protection is supported by FAO as an unprecedented project in Africa to contribute to the strengthening of social protection systems in Senegal and other African countries with a view to achievement of the SDGs and Agenda 2063 for Africa.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of the FAO Regional Office for Africa.