WORLD Bank social protection specialist, Joachim Boko, has underscored the need to promote social inclusion to ensure that all groups including the vulnerable and those with disabilities are fully included in the development process.
Mr Boko said this while addressing the Brown Bag meeting and Video Conference which was held at the World Bank offices in Maseru this week to commemorate the End Poverty Day.
He said disabled people, HIV/Aids patients, refugees, people in remote areas were mostly excluded from the development process, thus perpetuating their poverty and vulnerability.
Mr Boko said Africa ranked the worst of all regions on the UNDP gender inequality index but has the highest rate of female entrepreneurship in the world.
He however, said that woman who are victims of gender-based violence often feel disempowered.
Contributing to the discussion, Matau Futho Letsatsi, the director in the department of gender in the Ministry of Gender, said Lesotho’s education system was steeped in traditional and cultural practices which were not gender sensitive and thus contributed to the exclusion of women.
A press release by the World Bank stated that this year, the World Bank Group’s global messages will be driven by content and analysis of a new World Bank study titled ‘Fair Progress? Educational Mobility around the World’.
“The study explores whether those born in poverty or in prosperity are destined to remain in the same economic circumstances into which they were born, and looks back over a half a century at whether children’s lives are better or worse than their parents’ in different parts of the world,” part of the press release states.
“It posits that education, while not the only determinant of the next generation’s economic status, is likely to continue to play a key role in whether people can move up and out of poverty. It reminds us that poverty and low parental education reinforce each other in poorer countries, creating vast inequalities and exacerbating already low prospects of moving out of poverty.”
World Bank launched a Social Inclusion Heroes Competition within the framework of the #AfricaCAN Initiative, as a way of recognising and showcasing some of the great and innovative works people are doing in various countries to advance social inclusion.
“Social inclusion Heroes competition in an activity being undertaken as part of the #AfricaCAN campaign by World Bank Africa region as part of its youth transforming Africa programme,” Ms Letsatsi said adding that its primary purpose was to change the development narrative of Africa by highlighting inspirational and transformational Africa success stories.
She said the competition is expected to build a community of social inclusion leader at all levels, show concrete illustrations of the #AfricaCAN spirit through role models while supporting the identification of potential social inclusion initiatives to be included in World Bank supported projects.