The OECd’s most recent Development Co-operation Report presents evidence identifying the role of social protection in reducing poverty and achieving progress towards the millennium development goals while accelerating pro-poor and inclusive economic growth. The report cites successful African examples — including Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia — of the potential economic gains from child-sensitive social protection.
Social protection interventions delivered to children have the potential to tackle inequity in a meaningful and sustainable manner. early interventions during crucial developmental stages generate the highest returns on this investment, increasing adult productivity and earning potential and contributing to the competitiveness of Africa’s workforce.
While conventional thinking sometimes posits a trade-off between equity and growth, African nations are increasingly consolidating a strong foundation for economic progress by investing in their most productive asset—their human resources. Across the continent the number of core social protection programmes has increased ten-fold, from 25 in 2000 (in nine countries) to 245 in 2012 (in 41 countries).