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FAO supports Senegal in the creation of a Centre of Excellence for Social Protection

By APO Group
11 May 2022   |   6:00 pm
Download logoThe overall objective of the Centre 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 the exchange and sharing of innovative development solutions, knowledge, experiences, and good practices, and at the same time for learning…

FAO Regional Office for Africa
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The overall objective of the Centre 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 the exchange and sharing of innovative development solutions, 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 in the broader framework of the South-South cooperation.

To achieve this, a feasibility study for the creation of the Centre 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 during a meeting that brought together government departments, the United National System, technical and financial partners as well as civil society organizations. It was also an opportunity to share experiences and to hold a dialogue for a common understanding of opportunities and challenges related to operationalization of the CEPS and to outline key elements for the roadmap. Indeed, Senegal has become a reference point for social protection in terms of the assistance and support it provides to the disadvantaged.  Consequently, it has become the preferred destination for several studies and benchmarking trips from many African countries. Senegal has achieved commendable results in various areas of social protection system building and coverage. 

Such efforts have made it possible today to cover more than 30% of the vulnerable population through numerous projects and social safety net programs, including the National Family Security Grant Programme (PNBSF), Universal Health Coverage (CMU), the Equal Opportunities Card (EOC) and the National Health Insurance Fund (NHAF), the Equal Opportunities Card (CEC) and structuring projects. These include the Emergency Community Development Programme (PUDC) and the Emergency Programme for the Modernisation of Border Areas and Territories (PUMA), aimed at reinforcing territorial equity and balance through the construction of infrastructures. These were the achievement and programmes highlighted in the statement of Mrs. 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 considered it strategically important to create the Centre of Excellence on Social Protection (CEPs) to enhance its experiences and strengthen its formalization of exchanges on social protection between Senegal and other countries.

“We are thus completing an important step towards the establishment of a platform for the exchange and sharing of innovative solutions for the development of knowledge, experiences, and good practices, and for learning in the field of social protection and poverty reduction, essentially between African countries and within the more global framework of South-South cooperation”, explained Mr. Makhfousse Sarr, Programme Officer at FAO Senegal.

The key functions of the future Centre will be to serve as:

– an observatory of issues and experiences; strengths and weaknesses; opportunities and challenges in social protection.

– a laboratory for capacity building of social protection actors, exchanges, and the search for solutions, with an emphasis on innovation and scaling up processes.

– a showcase for highlighting good practices, opportunities for building partnerships and promoting successful experiences and consolidating the capitalization, sharing with other countries, and scaling up of good practices in social protection.

The project for the establishment of a Centre of Excellence for Social Protection is supported by FAO as an unprecedented project in Africa to contribute to strengthening social protection systems in Senegal and other African countries towards the achievement of the SDGs and Africa Agenda 2063.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of FAO Regional Office for Africa.