The PSCM-PS, which is the acronym standing for what translates from Portugese into the Mozambique Platform for Social Protection, on the 21st August 2012, convened 40 participants representing Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), research institutions, universities, and religious congregations to reflect on alternative funding opportunities for Basic Social Protection in Mozambique.

 

The creation of a public fund for various social programmes, as well as the introduction of a universal pension for older persons has been an incredible boost to the expansion of Social Protection programmes. In a bid to move the agenda forward, participants looked at the expanding fiscal space with new opportunities for economic growth being discovered and explored. This is being touted as an alternative pursue through which autonomous funding agencies may be established fostering improvements of programs, services and benefits for vulnerable segments of society.

 

One peculiar challenge however, would be how to formalize the informal sector. Like many countries in Africa, Mozambique finds herself with about 80% of the population outside the formal financial systems. According to António Francisco, Director of Investments at IESE, a debacle looms in the setting up of new and modern systems that will try and mainstream this group.

 

In any case, participants acknowledged that it is important to etch in systems that will embed inclusiveness and equity as the economy continues to grow. Economic growth should be met by a fair redistribution of wealth and equal opportunities for all.

 

To ensure a continuity of the dialogue, a technical group will be formed to analyze in depth the issues raised and chart a way forward. This group will be responsible for producing a position paper constituting the advocacy agenda directed towards government with a keen interest on finding alternative sources of funding for Social Protection programmes.

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