Development Management Policy Seminar: Social Protection and UNICEF in Equatorial Guinea

The above captioned seminar was held in the main conference room in Kobe University’s Graduate School of International Cooperation Studies (GSICS). The speaker was Ms. Mariana Coolican who is a Social Protection Policy Specialist at UNICEF in Equatorial Guinea and a doctoral candidate under Professor Keiichi Ogawa. The seminar took place on Tuesday 7th July 2015 and it was chaired by Professor Ogawa.

IMG_1814Ms. Mariana Coolican started her presentation by highlighting background information of Equatorial Guinea. Starting from the economic context, she explained the uniqueness of Equatorial Guinea as an upper middle-income country but with a very high poverty rate and significant socio-economic inequalities. She illustrated the social context of Equatorial Guinea with the help of information from the education sector, health sector and poverty status. In addition, she discussed cash transfer modalities and poverty reduction measures, as well as the national agenda for development in Equatorial Guinea.

Ms. Coolican then went on to present the legal, institutional and policy framework governing social protection system in Equatorial Guinea. This system includes programs and legislation for social security, education, health, employment and social affairs.

IMG_1816Lastly, Ms. Coolican presented an assessment of social protection system in the country, and explained the funding of this system. According to her, there are a series of lessons that can be learned from the practice of social protection program in Equatorial Guinea. Strategies like fostering diversity in the economy, promoting coordination between the government and international organizations would be beneficial in the development of social protection.

After the presentation, participants raised questions covering various topical issues, such as the mandatory national health-care policies in Equatorial Guinea, the role of foreign countries’ supports, and policies aimed at ethnic minorities. In response to each question, the speaker gave detailed explanations using examples from within Equatorial Guinea to support her responses.

Authored by Xiwen Fu
Master Student

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