24 Apr 2019
Launch of Vision Zero for Central Africa
From 10 to 11 April 2019, the Gabon National Social Security Fund hosted the launch of the Vision Zero campaign for the Central African region. Among almost 150 participants were representatives of governments, Central African social security institutions, the Inter-African Organization for the Prevention of Occupational Risks and workers and employees.
The event, presided over by Prime Minister Mr Ali Bongo, was preceded by a training workshop on prevention organized by the International Social Security Association (ISSA). At the official opening, carried out by the Minister of State in charge of social protection, Ms Denise Mekam’Ne Edzidzie, the Secretary General of the ISSA, Mr Marcelo Abi-Ramia Caetano, thanked the authorities and institutions of the country that agreed to hold the event, particularly Dr Nicole Assélé, Managing Director of Gabon’s National Social Security Fund (CNSS).
Vision Zero was then presented by Bernd Treichel, an ISSA expert responsible for prevention issues. He set out in detail the importance of prevention, not only for institutions but above all for the good of workers and the community as a whole. Vision Zero and its seven golden rules are a change of paradigm in prevention and the strategy can easily be adapted to all businesses. Mr Treichel invited employers from the region to become partners in Vision Zero: more than 500 African businesses have already joined the campaign.
At the launch, Gabon presented its new ambassador for the Vision Zero campaign: the international basketball champion Géraldine Yema Robert.
The work was carried out in several stages:
- a round table of managing directors of social security institutions on the overall situation, issues and prospects. This discussion made it possible to establish priority actions for making prevention the focus of social security institutions with regard to the frequency of occupational accidents and diseases.
- The second round table, with participants including Dominique Dressler, an expert from the ISSA international committee for prevention in the metalworking industry, brought together managers from several businesses in Gabon to explain and discuss their prevention strategies.
- The third round table included representatives of the government, workers and employers. The explanations and debates reinforced the conviction that there is a need for joint actions and cooperation between all partners.
- The fourth round table included experts from the ISSA: Bernd Treichel, Amed Bamba (independent expert on Africa and a member of the ISSA international committee for prevention in the transport industry) and Jean Claude Poirier (another member of that committee). They presented the ISSA’s work and good practice case studies.
The closing ceremony was carried out by the Secretary General of the ISSA and the Director General of the CNSS.