ADDIS ABABA, Oct. 27 (Xinhua) -- Despite the rapid growth of African economies over the last two decades, it will take a longer period of continued and robust comprehensive growth to pull large segment of the population out of vulnerability, new report revealed.
The 2017-2018 Annual Trends and Outlook Report (ATOR), which was published as part of a continental conference that was held at the headquarters of the African Union (AU) in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa from Oct. 24 to 26, also indicated that "despite falling poverty rates in Africa, the absolute number of poor and vulnerable is still high."
The report stressed that due to the broad deterioration of livelihoods in Africa over the years, longer period of continued growth is necessary to diminish vulnerability among larger portion of the continent's population.
It also revealed that countries across Africa are likely to experience growing demand for social protection in the near future, eventually creating increasing pressure on governments to respond to main social cohesion and stability.
It also urged for the introduction of social protection programs in Africa, arguing that growth alone would not be enough to help Africa meet the ambitious hunger and poverty reduction goals, including the 50-year Agenda 2063.
Eyasu Abraha, Ethiopia's Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, also said during the report launching addressing vulnerability needs of citizens' through social protection programs - such as Ethiopia's Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP) - is vital.
The PSNP "has been among the most important policies from the government of Ethiopia in stimulating rapid reductions in poverty and food insecurity, and significant economic growth," Abraha said.
"Our experience shows that when correctly designed and implemented, and continuously evaluated, social protection programs can be a significant boon for African societies," he added.
The report, among other things, takes an in-depth look at current and future role of social protection among African countries.
It also provided additional research and analysis on how countries can combine social protection programs with other related development programs to create a greater overall impact.
The pan African bloc AU also noted the greater benefits of the report's findings in lifting the continent's population, with due emphasis given to modernizing the agriculture sector.
"As Africa embarks on the implementation of the Malabo Declaration commitments and Agenda 2063, we are convinced that this report will make a valuable contribution towards emphasizing the vital role that well-designed national social protection programs can play," said Josefa Sacko, AU Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture.