Prospects, challenges and constraints of social security : the public administration quagmire for selected African countries

22 Jun 2015

Social exclusion has become a topical issue warranting global concern. In Africa, many people have remained unprotected against the hazards of economic shocks despite implementing various social security policies. The poor performance of most African economies has in some cases triggered massive retrenchments and abrupt company closures due to viability problems. The purpose of this article is to determine the prospects, challenges and constraints of social security in selected African countries against the backdrop of incessant rising unemployment and other related challenges. To establish the relevance of the existing social security systems, a review of available literature on social protection is adopted. Also analysed in this article are the attempts by African governments to extend social protection to the informal sector. An examination of journal articles and reviews of general reports on the overall performance of social security schemes in Africa suggest that social security interventions have been ineffective in cushioning people against economic hardships. Efforts aimed at achieving social inclusivity have been inhibited by a number of economic and administrative challenges. Thus, the informal sector has remained excluded from formal social security schemes in most African countries yet it is the obligation of governments to provide social protection to all people under their jurisdictions. Government policies should be periodically reviewed in order to establish the relevance of existing provisions to the socio-economic environment prevailing at any given time. In order to address the problem of social exclusion, governments need to holistically adopt a multi-sectoral approach to social security.