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Anti-poverty programmes and children’s development:
A Mexican – South African dialogue

26 May 2005

Holiday Inn, Strand Street, Cape Town

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The forthcoming visit to South Africa by the Mexican Deputy Minister of Social Development, Dr. Miguel Szekely, provides an ideal opportunity to discuss and debate comparative experiences and policies towards social grants. Mexico's 'Oportunidades' programme (formerly known as Progressa) is widely considered to be a successful pro-poor campaign aimed at reducing inter-generational transmission of poverty. South Africa's expanding children's grants programme differs in key respects from the Mexican programme. Nonetheless a dialogue of experiences will be of interest to a wide audience based on the current social and economic challenges that face Mexico and South Africa as developing countries.

Dr Szekely will talk to the topic "The Mexican social development anti-poverty programme 'Opportunidades'; a success story of an emerging nation". His presentation will be followed by two South African perspectives. They will be presented by the Department of Social Development and ACESS, a civil society network promoting children's rights.

Professor Murray Leibbrandt, chair of the UCT Economics Department, will chair the dialogue.

A brief CV of Dr Szekely

Dr Szekely (39) obtained his doctorate in economics from Oxford University in 1996. He then worked for the Inter American Development Bank, as a specialist in social sector issues, after which he was the head of the regional unit in the Office for Strategic Planning and Regional Development in the Presidency of the Republic of Mexico. He was appointed a Deputy Minister in 2002.

Dr Szekely has published widely on issues of poverty and inequality. He is the author of "The economics of poverty, inequality and wealth accumulation in Mexico" and co-author of "Social exclusion: Who is in? Who is out and why does it matter?". He has worked closely with, amongst others, Nancy Birdsall, Francois Bourguignon and Jere Behrman.

Date: Thursday 26th May
Time: 2:30 for 3:00pm - to end 5:00pm
Venue: Holiday Inn, Strand Street, Cape Town
Parking: Available at the venue

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