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Tanzania, 17 December 2014: International conference on social protection: Government of Tanzania adopts the Arusha Declaration on Social Protection

© UNICEF Tanzania/2014/Kate Holt
In Bagamoyo region, Tanzania, an innovative cash transfer programme that relies on local communities for targeting and administering payments is helping the country's poorest families send their children to schools and health centres and enhance their skills in income generating activities.

 
17 December 2014, ARUSHA, Tanzania – Today Honorable Minister Saada Mkuya Salum (MP), Ministry of Finance, officiated the closing ceremony of the three-day International Conference on Social Protection at the International Conference Centre in Arusha.

Upon closing of the Conference, the Government of Tanzania adopted the Arusha Declaration on Social Protection which provides a strong foundation for advancing the agenda of social protection in Tanzania and in Africa, with a view to make growth and development a reality for all.

The three-day Conference was a historical event, as it was the first ever such international conference on social protection to take place in Tanzania. The Conference, which was organized by the Government of Tanzania through the Ministry of Finance, in collaboration with UNICEF, ILO, UNAIDS and the Economic Policy Research Institute (EPRI) based in South Africa – brought together more than 150 senior government officials, policy-makers, researchers and experts on social protection. Delegates had a unique opportunity to attend presentations from distinguished experts in the field of social protection from many countries, includingAfghanistan, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Hon. Minister Salum said that the Conference has been very interactive and has explored and deliberated on all important pillars for building sustainable social protection systems in Africa and in Tanzania in particular.

“The final recommendations and Declaration which we have adopted, provide the required knowledge and basis for future work. I am pleased to say that this consensus is a decisive step in pursuance of the social protection agenda in Tanzania and hopefully will serve as an inspiration for the region as a whole. Additionally these recommendations will certainly inform our next growth and development plans and strategies of the various sectors like education, health and social welfare, nutrition, water and sanitation.”

During the Conference, many papers were presented and discussed in six plenary and parallel sessions. The discussions explored issues related to evolution and key trends of social protection; building comprehensive and integrated social protection systems; and designing effective social protection interventions and social protection sustainability and financing. One of the key messages from the discussions was on the importance of coordination, vertically across the central and local government and horizontally across social protection and social services agencies.

As pointed out by H.E. Seif Ali Iddi, Second Vice President during the opening ceremony of the Conference, Tanzania has its vision set high to graduate to a middle-income country by 2025 and the Government has adopted social protection as a key strategy for achieving Tanzania’s growth and development vision.

In order to achieve this VISION, the Government wants to ensure that its citizens, including the poorest and the weakest develop their capacities to realize their rights and make Tanzania stronger and a more equal society. Addressing the needs of children, especially their nutrition, health and education is critical to helping them grow into happy, productive adults and escape from the inter-generational poverty trap.

In conclusion, Hon. Minister Salum felt encouraged that the Conference was able to achieve its objectives.

“As Tanzania moves towards a mineral and gas-rich economy and aspires to move towards a middle-income country, this Conference has been timely in establishing that social protection stands as a key strategy for ensuring a fairer distribution of the nation’s wealth and contributing to measurable improvements in household economic and social development as well as reducing risks by building a peaceful and cohesive society.”

 

For further information, including interviews, please contact:
Anna Mwasha, Ministry of Finance: asmwasha@yahoo.com
Lelansi Mwakibibi, Ministry of Finance: lelansim@gmail.com
Sandra Bisin, UNICEF Tanzania: +255 787600079 sbisin@unicef.org
Jacqueline Namfua, UNICEF Tanzania: +255 787600115 jnamfua@unicef.org
Magnus Minja, ILO:+255754956342, minja@ilo.org

 

 
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