PSSSF Capacity Building Events

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ECASSA signs an MoC with the Worker’s Compensation Fund (WCF) of Tanzania

On the 7th December 2020, ECASSA and the Worker’s Compensation Fund (WCF) of Tanzania signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) in a historic event at the ECASSA Head Office in Arusha – Tanzania. On this high level event, the ECASSA delegation was led by the Secretary General, Dr. Irene Isaka, and WCF delegation was led by the Director General, Mr. Masha Mshomba. The below photos reveal the historical moments when the two parties officially endorsed the cooperation agreement in the areas of capacity building; resource sharing and other social protection related issues.
wcf director

The Director General of WCF, Mr. Masha Mshomba, delivering a key note speech during the MoC signing ceremony between ECASSA and WCF at the ECASSA  Head Office in Arusha – Tanzania. Right to the DG is Mr. Anselmi, the WCF Director of Investments and left is ECASSA Secretary General, Dr. Irene Isaka.

wcfsigning

The Director General of WCF, Mr. Masha Mshomba, (right) and ECASSA Secretary General, Dr. Irene Isaka, (left)  signing a Memorandum of Cooperation between ECASSA and WCF at the ECASSA  Head Office in Arusha – Tanzania. Standing right behind them are the delegations from both parties.

wcf moc

The WCF Director General, Mr. Masha Mshomba, (right) and the Secretary General of ECASSA, Dr. Irene Isaka, displaying the just signed MoC between the two parties at a ceremony attended by delegations from both parties, held at ECASSA Head office in Arusha – Tanzania.

SG Profile

EAST AND CENTRAL AFRICA SOCIAL SECURITY ASSOCIATION

SECRETARY GENERAL’S PROFILE

 


 

PERSONAL PROFLE

Irene Charles Isaka

is a holder of Doctorate degree (PhD) in Economics of the University of Dar-es-Salaam. Her Thesis titled “Social Security in Tanzania; System Adequacy and its fiscal Implication” (2017). 

Irene has a Master’s Degree of Economics specialized in Econometrics and Monetary Economics. She has a Bachelor degree in Economics specialized in Industrial economics; she holds a post graduate Diploma in Pension Fund investments, a diploma in Risk Management for Investment of Pension Funds and a diploma in Housing Finance. Irene is a Certified Pensions Analyst.

EXPERIENCE

Irene is currently the Secretary General of East and Central Africa Social Security Association (ECASSA), the organization that oversee more than 21 social security institutions. 

Before this appointment, Irene worked as a Lecturer at the Institute of Finance Management (IFM) teaching Social Protection Financing, Social Protection Administration, Poverty and Inequality and social security Investments and Retirement Planning. 

Irene was the Director General of Social Security Regulatory Authority (SSRA) following the appointment by the President of the United Republic of Tanzania in 2010.  Under this capacity, Irene was able to set up systems and processes for the newly established Authority. With four major Directorates and four Units, Irene lead the review and harmonization of Legal and Regulatory Framework of social security sector in the country; actuarial valuations of all mandatory social Security schemes; Harmonization of investments of the social security funds; harmonization of benefits (Parametric reforms in 2014). Irene facilitated merging of five Pension Schemes in 2018. As the Regulator of the Social Security Sector She has supervised compliance through issuance of 13 Social Security Guidelines/Rules for the Social Security Sector. These guidelines enhanced effective and efficient operations of the social security sector. Hence, ensured members’ protection, good governance and sustainability of the social security sector.   She supervised the preparation and dissemination of social security reform program; social security extension strategy; communication strategy and facilitated public awareness program on social security matters at different levels including; policy makers, Legislators, Trade Unions, media, members of schemes and the public at large. During her reign, the country scored well both at the National level in terms reduction of implicit Pension Debt and reduction of Administrative costs. At an international level the country score well in IOPS assessments; as a result, SSRA scope ISSA innovation award and African Union Award.  At the corporate level, SSRA emerged a winner in Best Present Accounts, best Entity in Public Procurement; best managed MDA; best HIV/AIDS interventions Award; Best employer in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2018 under different categories. Irene represented the United Republic of Tanzania at the EAC as the chairperson of East African Pension Regulators, where she facilitated the establishment EAC Pension Policy, EAC Pension Strategic Plan and EAC Investments Policy, Irene has worked with Stanbic Bank (T) Ltd as Head of International Development Group (IDG), Non-Banking Financial Institutions (NBFIs) & the Public Sector. Her role among others, focused on IDG, NBFIs & Public Sector Client’s strategic direction and the long-term financial solutions; As well as identification of improvements and adaptations to existing systems and processes in order to ensure current and future viability of the IDG’s portfolio, NBFIs and Public sector in general. Prior to moving to Stanbic (T) Ltd, Irene spent 10 years in the Social Security Sector based at the National Social Security Fund and the Parastatal Pensions Fund as Investments manager. As Investments Manager, Irene was responsible for Investment portfolio that comprised of Real Estate, Equities and Fixed Income Assets (including Treasury Bills, Treasury Bonds, Corporate bonds, Fixed deposits (FDR), Commercial Papers(CP), Promissory Notes (PN), Term loans (TL), Syndicated Credit Facilities (SCF) and Special Lines of Credits (SLC)  to SACCOS. With broad experience in Investments Management, she was able in collaboration with consultants to develop various real estate products, Facilitate Loan syndications in the Agricultural and power Sectors; private placements and development of mortgage product for low cost housing schemes. Irene worked as Public Private Partnership Advisor to the Voluntary sector Health Program, the program, which was funded by the USAID. As a partnership advisor, she was involved the grants management processes to the NGOs, CBOs, FBOs and GROs in 32 Councils of the Mainland Tanzania where her main role was to formulate strategies that foster PPP between the Councils and NGOs, CBOs, FBOs and GROs. Irene was also an active member of Long Term Development Finance committee of the FSP project. This one of fundamental technical committees that expedited Second Generation Financial Sector Reforms under the Bank of Tanzania. She actively participated in the transformation of TIB to a development Bank, lease financing, and development of mortgage financing.

Ecassa Staff

Ecassa Staff Members at Ecassa HQ Arusha, Tanzania

Expectations

Founders

The ECASSA founding member schemes have very high expectations of what they expect of the Association. This is not only expected but indeed every member scheme has the right to see and feel tangible membership benefits enabling them to collectively make positive impact in the improvement of the quality of life of the people of this sub-region as premised in the Association’s objectives. Notable excerpts by some stakeholders: “Social Security plays a major role in economic development and social welfare…. “ECASSA is timely especially at a time when the East African Community has been broadened to include the two sister countries which are Burundi and Rwanda” – Hon. James Musomi, Rwanda Minister for Finance when presiding over the Official Launch of ECASSA in Kigali, 31st March, 2007.
 

Role of Ecassa in social security development

In order to reduce poverty among the population and to achieve Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the region, Social security development cannot be neglected. The need for ECASSA to foster cooperation among social security institutions, various governments, regional economic blocks, development partners and other stakeholders through policy influence and thought leadership cannot be overemphasized. The Association needs to undertake training and capacity building; research and knowledge management; coordination and harmonization of social security legal framework towards achieving universal coverage and portability of benefits across the region.
More The increasing awareness and recognition of the fundamental rights of each individual for social security, the increasing vulnerability of the East and Central African citizens, the changing business environment and the need to improve quality of social security validates the need to foster cooperation in the development of social security in the region. An analysis of social protection regimes in almost all the East and Central Africa countries show that they are insurance-oriented and focus on those people who are employed in the formal sector. It therefore tends to be very categorical and exclusionary especially as far as the personal sphere of coverage is concerned. A few benefit, while large pockets of people generally and especially informal workers are excluded from protection. The Association has just concluded its first strategic planning cycle in which significant achievements were realized, challenges faced and opportunities unearthed. Despite its remarkable rapid growth in the last few years, whether in terms of its membership growth, resource mobilization, service portfolio, or its human resource capacity, certain aspects of the Association requires strengthening to enable it continue playing its vital role and cope with the changing operating environment. For instance, the growth in its membership has not been as rapid as desired and its intention to influence policy and provide thought leadership in social security development within the region is without much impact. Majority of Social Security institutions require institutional strengthening and capacity building to enhance social security delivery. An eminent need for ECASSA to enhance its mandate in building and strengthening the capacity of social security institutions to deliver social security services and be responsive to the changes in their operating environment is critical. This will necessitate the Association to enhance its own internal capacity and increase its country presence and visibility in the region. The Association has made a strategic decision to review the manner in which it conducts its business, the way it is structured, its human resource capabilities and the way it assesses its own performance in order to exploit emerging business opportunities and address known concerns. To this end, ECASSA will pursue a number of strategic objectives and strategies in fostering cooperation of social security players in developing social security in the region.

Background

Background

The formation of ECASSA in March 2007 was a response to the need by social protection schemes including health insurance schemes and pension funds, in East and Central Africa, to work more closely in the interest of improving the quality and effectiveness  of their services to the people of the region. It is important to recall that most public social protection institutions were established at independence in the 1960s and all faced the same challenges of low coverage, insignificant benefits and a workforce deprived of proper training in social security administration. This has been attributed to the fact that most of these schemes started as government departments and their leadership was part of the public service bureaucracy with no appreciation of the concept of social security. This resulted in lethargy within these institutions and thus performance well below par over the years. However, since the late 1990s, these schemes have been exposed to a competitive business environment , assisted by growing consumer awareness of their rights. Over time, many of the schemes adapted new strategies to address these challenges and most importantly,  they had their laws amended to make admission to their Boards more professional. Nontheless, challenges such as low coverage, labour migration to neighbouring countries ,poor  corporate governance and service delivery continued to persist. A way to have the schemes come together and tackle these challenges was in urgent demand. In early 2007, after both formal and informal consultations, the schemes Director -Generals and Managers reached a consensus that their organisations could achieve progress in matters of common interest faster and at a relatively low cost if they had a mechanism for maintaining regular contacts, continuous sharing of experiences and pooling of resources to fund capital intensive programmes. ECASSA was thus established and today serves as the sub-regional  co-ordination agency to enable social protection schemes realize their full potential in guaranteeing improved social security for the people of this Eastern and Central Afican region.

Mission and Vision

Vision Statement

The East and Central Africa Social Security Association’s Vision is: “The preferred Institution in the promotion, management and development of social security for all in the region”

Mission Statement

The Association’s mission is: “To foster cooperation and promote the management and development of social security for optimum stakeholder benefits”.

Core Values

The Association’s core values define how ECASSA pursues its strategic objectives and relates with its stakeholders. The Associations upholds the following core values and guiding principles:
  • Commitment
  • Integrity
  • Team work
  • Equity and Inclusion
  • Creativity and innovation

MOTTO

Social Security for All
 

Workshop

Hon. Fazila Jeewa Daureeawoo (MP), Minister of Social Security of Mauritius opening ECASSA’s workshop for Board Members held in Mauritius