The ISSA Liaison Office for North Africa has moved from Algeria to Tunisia. The transition was marked by an opening ceremony and a technical seminar on social security reforms in the Maghreb region, organized in Tunis from 24 to 25 May 2022.
The ISSA Liaison Offices play a crucial role in facilitating regional knowledge sharing and technical cooperation. They also help support the promotion of the broad range of products and services that the International Social Security Association (ISSA) offers to its members. The National Social Security Fund (Caisse nationale de sécurité sociale – CNSS) of Tunisia has taken the responsibility from the National Social Insurance Fund for Employees (Caisse nationale des assurances sociales des travailleurs salariés – CNAS) of Algeria, which had been hosting the North African Liaison Office since 2014.
In the opening ceremony, Tunisia’s Minister of Social Affairs, Malek Zahi, expressed great satisfaction that the CNSS will lead this regional cooperation in the years ahead. ISSA Secretary General Marcelo Abi-Ramia Caetano thanked both the outgoing and incoming host organizations for their dedication to the ISSA community. The Director General of the CNSS, Imed Turki, expressed his satisfaction that institutions from all five countries in the region, Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, and Tunisia, were present for the opening ceremony and the technical seminar.
The seminar focussed on ongoing reforms and built on a comparative study of social security systems in the Maghreb region. Following country presentations, three thematic roundtables were organized focussing on health insurance, pension systems, and unemployment insurance. Over one and a half days, the participants were able to study and discuss current trends and developments, ongoing reforms, and their perspectives for the future.
Before ending the event, the Steering Committee of the liaison office held a meeting to set the direction for upcoming cooperation. The committee decided to plan for one technical seminar and one webinar in 2023, and the liaison office will organize a survey to gather input on the interests and needs of ISSA members in the region.
The webinars have been instrumental for cooperation and sharing of knowledge among ISSA members during the COVID-19 pandemic. With the gradual lifting of restrictions, technical seminars onsite are starting again. In addition to this seminar in Tunis, a technical seminar on coverage extension in Central Africa was recently organized in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and a technical seminar on error, evasion and fraud in Southern Africa will soon be organized in Zimbabwe.