BON 15th Annual Symposium as it happened

September 20, 2013, 2:04 am
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13:10 The Bank of Namibia's 15th Annual Symposium comes to an end

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12:50 The Deputy Governor of the Bank of Namibia, Mr. Ebson Uanguta, takes to the podium to give a Vote of Thanks and ends the symposium. 

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11:35 Panel Discussion and the Way Forward: Moderated by Mr. Kazembire Zemburuka.

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11:00 Dr. Arup Bannerji, is the World Bank’s Global Director for Social Protection and Labor, overseeing the World Bank’s strategy and knowledge work on labor markets, social safety nets, pensions and disability issuesThe World Bank’s Perspective on Social Safety Nets: Policy Options for Namibia. He takes the podium to talk about The World Bank’s Perspective on Social Safety Nets: Policy Options for Namibia. His full presentation paper will be available on Lela. 

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10: 25 Prof. Widerquist is an Associate Professor at SFS-Qatar, Georgetown University. He takes the stand to talk about Social Safety Nets: International Experience and Lessons from other Countries. His full presentation /paper will be loaded on Lela.

Abstract: This paper reviews the global lessons and evidence on social safety net programs from cross-country experience. Over 130 countries in the emerging world are introducing and expanding social safety net programs, inspired by the strong international evidence base about efficacy – including documented impacts on a range of economic and social dimensions. The design and type of major social safety net programs vary across the world – and partly depend on the prevalence and importance of different types of risk that may prevail in a specific country. This includes natural disasters and other crises – once established, social safety nets offer a platform for timely and effective crises response. Despite the pervasive evidence, emerging lessons show that to ensure that programs work coherently, effectively and efficiently, it is important to build systems of social protection that work together as a portfolio to cover multiple risks across the life cycle; and cost-effective program should be the result of informed decision-making processes, as well as of the careful consideration of various design details. Yet, it takes time and investments in capacities to progressively build flexible systems.

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9:55 The symposium breaks for tea

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9:25 Dr. Blessing Chiripanhura of the Polytechnic of Namibia, takes to the podium to present Overview of Social Safety Nets in Namibia: Facts and Results. His full paper will be loaded shortly in full on Lela. Below is the extracted abstract:

Abstract: This paper examines the types and coverage of social safety nets in Namibia. It assesses coverage, adequacy and effectiveness of the measures in achieving the set objectives. The paper also discusses important issues that need to be considered if the country chooses to introduce an additional social transfer measure in the form of a basic income grant. It stresses the need to ensure sustainability and affordability of social protection, and the possibility of consolidating the existing schemes into a comprehensive scheme with lower costs and greater efficiency.

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8:55 Hon Dr. Hage Geingob Prime Minister takes to the podium

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8:40 Welcoming Remarks Mr. Ipumbu Shiimi, Governor Bank of Namibia

The Governor Bank of Namibia Mr. Ipumbu Shiimi, takes to the stand and speaks of safety nets, the history and generally introduces the symposium. 

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8:30 Hon Dr. Hage Geingob Prime Minister walks in and is greeted with a warm welcome. 

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Bank of Namibia: 15th Annual Symposium

Social Safety Nets in Namibia: Assessing Current Programmes and Future Options
 
26 September 2013, Safari Hotel and Conference Centre (Namib 1 & 2), Windhoek
 
Background
 
The theme for this year’s annual symposium is “Social safety nets in Namibia: Assessing current programmes and future options. Namibia, like many countries, has introduced a number of social assistant programmes in an attempt to mitigate the impact of poverty among poor households. Despite Government’s the world over implementing such programmes, there is a lack of consensus on the impact of such programmes on poverty reduction.
Opponents argue that such programmes are not only fiscally unsustainable, but also make little contribution to broader economic growth and sustainable poverty reduction. Moreover, they argue that such programmes may create a disincentive to work while at the same time discouraging investment.
Proponents, on the other hand argue that such programmes, especially the ones which are well designed generate various income and employment multipliers. In this regard, it is postulated that such programmes not only alleviate poverty, but also support economic growth by enabling “poor households to create assets, protect their assets, and allocate resources to risky but highly remunerative production activities.
Given the varying views on the impact of the programmes, it is envisaged that the symposium will provide a platform to critically examine such issues in order to inform future national policy responses on the issue.
 
In this regard, the symposium consists of three sub-themes as follows:
 
1. Overview of the social safety nets (SSN) in Namibia: The paper provides an overview of safety nets in place in Namibia and ascertains their impact on poverty reduction and inequality.
 
2. Social safety nets: Experience and lessons from other countries: The paper brings to the fore the experiences from other countries in implementing social safety programmes. It reflects on the success and weaknesses of the various programmes such as BIG in Alaska. The pros and cons of in implementing unconditional cash transfers vs. targeted programmes. It also draws lessons for Namibia.
 
3. Policy lessons from international experience and options for Namibia: This paper reviews the global evidence about the spread and efficacy of social safety net programs across emerging countries, and then reviews them in the context of Namibia. Based on international experiences, this paper should draw on such experience and provide appropriate policy recommendations for Namibia.