THE Board Member of the Africa Platform for Social Protection (APSP), Mr Jeleel Odoom who made the call said this would help bridge the gap between access to social security and health needs as well as the capacity to meet these needs.
He said the African Union (AU) needed only fifteen countries to ratify the protocol and Ghana was yet to do so which was very worrying.
Mr Odoom made these remarks at 2-day national workshop organised by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Foundation in partnership with the African Union (AU), APSP and Civil Society Platform for Social Protection-Ghana in Accra yesterday.
Organised with the aim of promoting rights-based legal framework on social protection in Africa, the national workshop brought together stakeholders in the government sector, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and other international personalities.
According to Mr Odoom, social protection was essential as it was a way of solving the issue of inequality in society, therefore, the need for the citizenry to understand its underpinnings.
“Social protection is the right of every citizen. We are talking about that which makes sure that inequality does not exist in the society. That is why it is important to ratify the current protocol to the African Charter of the right of citizens of social protection “, Mr Odoom said.
Mr Odoom furtherance noted that the country over the past couple of years had formulated several Acts and policies in relation to social protection but that was not enough to address the issue of social protection and security.
He also appealed to the government to make available resources to the appropriate agencies in ensuring that the gap in equity to social protection was closed and see to it that the tenants of the provisions in the laws were implemented.
Meanwhile, the Program Coordinator of FES, Ghana, Mr Ebow Mensah, in a media briefing, said the workshop provided FES, Ghana, the opportunity to bring on board all relevant stakeholders to discuss and ensure that the citizenry were sensitised on the protocols.
In addition, Mr Mensah explained that as way of monitoring governments’ application of the recommendations made by FES, it engages the various Committees in parliament to access the progress made. ’
Mr Mensah indicated that the outcome of the workshop would be shared with relevant key institutions to enhance and promote the social protection in Ghana and Africa at large.
In his remarks, the Senior Social Welfare Officer of the African Union Commission, Mr Lefthoko Kesamangcommended Ghana for being the first country in Africa to ratify the protocol on right of citizens to social protection and social security.
Going forward, he urged Ghana to ratify the protocol on the right of persons with disability and the right of the aged.
BY BENJAMIN ARCTON-TETTEY