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Keywords:

  • family;
  • poverty;
  • social protection;
  • sub-Saharan Africa

Mokomane Z. Social protection as a mechanism for family protection in sub-Saharan Africa

In sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), the extended family has for generations been the basis for the sustenance of society, offering material, social, emotional and care-giving support for its members in times of need and crisis. Over the years, however, this institution has been affected by demographic and socio-economic transformations that have continued to take place in the region. This article illustrates how these changes have contributed to family circumstances that are characterised by economic fragility, debilitating poverty and weakened family support for household chores and care-giving responsibilities. The article argues that the development and provision of more comprehensive social protection policies and programmes in SSA can help mitigate the impact of the changes on families and their members.