"Promoting Decent Work and Social Protection for All" in the S&D Africa Week

In the context of the S&D Africa Week, the digital public event "Promoting Decent Work and Social Protection for All" (Europe-Africa partnership to ensure decent work and social protection for all) is organised by the hosts, in partnership with the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) and SOLIDAR.

You can watch the livestream in the SOLIDAR Facebook page on 14/10/2020 at 10.30 am (CEST)!

Event description

Social protection is one core element of the Decent Work Agenda and figures prominently in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its SDGs (for example, in SDG 1, SDG 3, SDG 4, SDG 5, SDG 8).

The COVID-19 has dramatically demonstrated how vulnerable a population can be in the face of an external shock. Without a proper response to it, people may fall into a situation of critical vulnerability.

According to the International Labour Organisation, ‘Only 27 per cent of the world’s population has adequate social security coverage and more than half lack any coverage at all.’ It isn’t a struggle for underdeveloped countries only, even in Europe, income support measures do not reach all groups of the population nor all groups of workers. It shows how poorly equipped governments can be at this stage, while additional stresses, be it climatic, economic or humanitarian, keep on emerging. Yet, a sound social protection system has also shown how beneficial it can be to face crisis of any kind (financial, sanitary, climate-related, etc). While the European Union and different African governments are stepping up efforts to ensure access to this right, several challenges remains and one of them is the lack of funding. Yet measures such as reallocating expenditures, setting up a Global Social Protection Fund, stopping illicit financial flow or designing innovative taxation are available but should now be materialized.

In this context, the following questions will be discussed by a distinguished panel of experts:

What is it needed to bridge the social security funding gap to establish and maintain national social protection floors? Which good practices exist at National level that could serve as model in other contexts?

Which initiatives at European and International level could help closing the funding gap?

How the EU will work through its domestic and external policies to ensure that everyone has ensured its right to a decent income and quality essential services?

  • Moderator: Mikael Leyi, SOLIDAR Secretary General
  • Opening speech by Mr. Nicolas Schmit, European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights

Speakers in this event include:

  • Ms. Christina Behrendt, Head of the Social Policy Unit, International Labour Organisation
  • Ms. Evelyn Astor, Economic and Social Policy Advisor, International Trade Union Confederation
  • Ms. Helen Mudora, Programme Manager, Africa Platform for Social Protection
  • Mr. Carlos Zorrinho, MEP, Co-President ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly


  • Trenton Elsley, Labour Research Service, South Africa
  • Noaga Pierre Sawadogo, Director of Solidarité Laïque - Afrique de l’Ouest

Q/A Session

  • Closing remarks by Daniela Iller, Policy Officer, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, EU Office

Follow the LIVESTREAM in SOLIDAR Facebook page!

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