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Omamo: State plans expanding Social protection and security system

By Standard Reporter | June 11th 2015

NAIROBI, KENYA:  The Government is in the process of reforming her social protection and social security system with a view to expanding and extending the avenues to cover all people both in and out of employment. 

Amb. Raychelle Omamo, Acting Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Labour, Social Security and Services yesterday in Geneva said the Government initiative is in response to the emerging dynamics in the world of work today.  

“We concur that due to changes that have taken place in the World of Work, the traditional forms of work as we know it – full time jobs -will sooner or later be a thing of the past, with flexible forms of work including subcontracting and Non-Standard Forms of arrangements, becoming the norm,” said Ms. Omamo.   

The minister explained that the World of Work both in developing and developed countries has been interrupted by unexpected globalisation and technological changes. 

She added, “Under such circumstances, reflections on the Future of Work Initiative must include an evaluation of the implications of these changes for social justice and in particular how our social protection systems will respond to them.” 

CS Omamo’s remarks were in a speech read on her behalf by Stephen Karau, Kenya ambassador and permanent representative to Geneva during the plenary discussion of the International Labour Organization (ILO) Director General Guy Ryder report at the 104th session of the International Labour Conference in Geneva, Switzerland. 

Omamo stated that the Government to date operates several forms of social assistance programmes including cash transfer to orphans and vulnerable children, the elderly, to persons with severe disabilities and on urban food subsidy programmes.   

For example , in the current financial year, Government allocated the Cash Transfer for Orphans and Vulnerable Children (Ksh 7.4 billion), Cash Transfer for Older Persons (KSh5.9 billion), while the Cash Transfer for Persons with Severe Disabilities Programme was allocated Sh770 million. 

Arising out of the current challenges of unemployment, underemployment, and poverty, Omamo explained that the government has reoriented its economic policy outlook to focus on implementation of public infrastructure projects and programmes with job rich outcomes in energy, road, railway construction and agricultural sectors. 

For instance, to date, the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) construction is already on-going and at its peak, it’s expected to create more than 30,000 jobs.   

Others projects are the Lamu South Sudan Ethiopia Transport Corridor (LAPSSET), the one million acre Galana/Kulalu Irrigation Project, and the tarmacking of 10,000km of road network under the annuity programme. 

 “Through these programmes, it is expected that youth unemployment will be greatly reduced not to mention the generation of income and therefore aggregate demand to spur economic growth,” she added.

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