Kigali – A joint United Nations mission paved the way to confirm the official commitment of the Government of Rwanda to become a pathfinder country of the Global Accelerator on Jobs and Social Protection for Just Transitions.
The official expression of interest was sent to the UN Resident Coordinator, Mr. Ozonnia Ojielo, on 12 January 2024, following consultations that took place during the UN mission with different national stakeholders including the Government of Rwanda, social partners, international financial institutions, and other development partners to discuss the relevance of and potential entry points for the Global Accelerator in the country.
The consultations of the UN mission had identified several priority action areas: formalizing and digitalizing the urban economy, supporting food security and increased productivity of the agriculture sector by modernizing, greening and enhancing inclusivity and gender equality, and promoting gender equality including in the labour market through investments in the care economy.
In the discussions, the need for assessments of employment-intensive sectors as well as a coordinated integrated financing strategy were highlighted as crucial for the success of the initiative. The discussions also noted that there’s evidence that social protection is not a cost, but an investment. A recent study on the multiplier effect of social protection spending in 42 countries, conducted by the ILO and the University of Brazil, found that for every dollar invested in social protection, as a median, the economy grows by 1.52 dollars after 2.5 years, and that the multiplier is higher in developing countries.
The Global Accelerator on Jobs and Social Protection for Just Transitions aims to enhance the effectiveness of national strategies to achieve sustainable development goals. Rwanda started the development of its updated National Strategy for Transformation, which is a timely moment to join the Global Accelerator.
“Achieving gender equality through investments in the care economy could create up to 900.000 green and decent jobs, increase women’s labour force participation, and increase GDP by up to 17 per cent.” said Mehjabeen Alarakhia, Women’s Economic Empowerment Regional Policy Specialist, East and Southern Africa Regional Office, UN Women.
Rwanda’s commitment reaffirms the relevance of the Global Accelerator efforts to rapidly expand social protection and create quality jobs to achieve just transitions. With the official expression of interest, the country will start developing a national roadmap to define how the initiative can contribute to achieving the national priorities on employment creation and social protection.