The European Union has launched the 2010 European Report on Development, an annual report designed to assess opportunites where Europe can aid development.
The European Report on Development examines the need and potential for expanding social protection in Sub-Saharan Africa, as well as its feasibility and likely development impact. In contrast with the view that Sub-Saharan Africa cannot afford social protection, innovative approaches to building broad-based social protection schemes and systems have been promoted by African countries, and implemented with success across the region. Global post-crises uncertainty reinforces the need for measures that shield Africa’s population against risks and shocks, and that reduce poverty and promote human development.
‘Social protection for inclusive development’ is a timely topic: interest in social protection has been growing, both in Sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere. In the G20 ‘Seoul Development Consensus (2010)’, growth with resilience was identiﬁ ed as a key pillar, with speciﬁc emphasis on social protection mechanisms that support resilient and inclusive growth. More broadly, a consensus is emerging that social protection is not only a right, but also an indispensable instrument in supporting progress towards achieving inclusive growth and the Millennium Development Goals. This momentum stems largely from the growing recognition that social policy is a crucial piece of the development puzzle, as affirmed in the African Union’s ‘Social Policy Framework for Africa (2008)’ and ‘Khartoum Declaration on Social Policy Action Towards Social Inclusion (2010)’.
In this context, this report provides an opportunity to take stock, learn from experience and suggest priorities for the European Union (EU) and its Member States. Social protection, at the very heart of the European social model, should become an integral part of EU development policies and its commitment to the social dimension of globalisation.