The International Labour Organization (ILO) has commended Zambia for extending the country’s social protection coverage to the informal sector under the National Pensions Scheme (NAPSA).
Speaking during the 49th Session of the African Region Labour Administration Centre (ARLAC) High-level Meeting for Senior Officials in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, ILO Senior Social Protection Specialist Andrew Allieu said it was gratifying that the NAPSA Sub scheme that covers the informal sector had maternity benefits as well as health coverage extension under National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIMA).
This is according to a statement issued by Inutu Mwanza, First secretary for Press and Tourism at the Zambian Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
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Allieu also commended Zambia for achieving above 24 percent of the social protection coverage, which he said was above the average of 17 percent recorded among ARLAC Member countries.
He encouraged Member countries to work towards narrowing the gap, as the world target was 40 percent by 2025.
ILO has pledged to assist Zambia in strengthening the data gaps that exist with regard to the complementation of the ILO social security inquiry that is conducted on a regular basis.
Meanwhile, Ministry of Labour Acting Permanent Secretary, Zechariah Luhanga, who represented Brendah Tambatamba, Minister of Labour and Social Security, said Zambia was ready to benefit from implementing Advanced Labour Market Courses developed by ARLAC.
He said ARLAC was in the process of signing a Memoranda of Understanding with the University of Zambia and the Open University of Mauritius.
Luhanga said the initiative would benefit the labour market players and Zambians across different sectors by providing certified training appropriate for officials of Labour Administration system in ARLAC member countries.
He further stated that Zambians would also benefit from the technical cooperation and expertise to understand in-country training and facilitate exchange programme, specialist consultancy, and advisory services.
During the ARLAC Governing Council meeting, Zambia was elected member of the ARLAC Executive Management Committee, whose mandate in office runs for two years from 2022 to 2024.
The meeting attracted participation from fifteen 15 countries, including the International Labour Organization-ILO, who were present to offer technical support.
Contributed by Augustine Sichula
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