By Collins Mwai
President Paul Kagame has called for the review and adjustment of social protection systems to fill gaps that have been revealed by the covid-19 crisis and its effects.
Kagame was speaking on Monday, January 25, in a virtual panel session as part of the Davos Agenda 2021.
The session themed around “Advancing a New Social Contract” examined responses that are likely to be most effective as well as features of emerging new social contracts between governments, business and citizens.
Kagame said that the pandemic and its social-economic effects have exposed gaps in the existing social protection systems everywhere in the world.
“This crisis has revealed gaps in the existing social protection systems everywhere in the world,” he said. “The pandemic has also reminded us of how we are interlinked and interdependent in many ways.”
The pandemic, he added, had also brought to surface challenges that despite being previously known had not been addressed.
Social protection systems have further been stressed by the reduction of expenditure as well as the erosion of labour protection, the President said.
These and other emerging challenges, he explained, require solutions to improve the society’s resilience to future crises.
The Head of State said that without adequate social protection, existing inequalities will only grow wider and degrade working conditions for some.
Explaining that like elsewhere across the world, the pandemic had negatively affected the labour force and labour market, he shared approaches that Rwanda was using to alleviate the challenges.
Among the interventions, he said include the Rwf100 million Economic Recovery Fund set up to help businesses recover and eventually lead to the retention of employees.
He added that the country had also used some of its agriculture stock to avail food for communities whose income had been disrupted as well as paying health insurance for about two million citizens.
The virtual session was held in the background of nearly half of the 3.3 billion global workforce at risk of losing their livelihoods, while revealing the inadequacies of safety nets for the majority of the world’s working population.
Other panellists included Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez; Coca-Cola Chairman and CEO, James Quincey; International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) Secretary-General, Sharan Burrow; World Economic Forum Geneva Managing Director, Saadia Zahidi; AARP CEO, Jo Ann Jenkins; and Centre for the Fifth Social Revolution Social Entrepreneur, Hilary Cottam.
The Davos Agenda brings together the world’s top academics, politicians, business, youth, and civil society leaders to engage in addressing the most pressing issues on the global agenda.
Source New Times.