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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

African task force created

Actuaries in Africa are coming together to take a leading role in the continent’s capacity building, and to accelerate access to financial services for more Africans. An African actuarial task force has been constituted to work towards developing more actuaries as financial professionals in the continent. In turn, they will give back by contributing to the development of their individual economies, thereby creating a sustainable and well-regulated financial services industry.

The work of the task force will be underpinned by the development and promotion of the actuarial profession in the continent. Its work is reinforced in its mission statement:

A special interest group representing a number of African actuarial associations and international organisations to investigate and recommend solutions that support the development and promotion of the actuarial profession in Africa.

The task force, which held its first meeting in South Africa in November 2007, was formed at the Third International Professional Meeting of Leaders of the Actuarial Profession in English-speaking Africa, which took place in June 2007 in Nairobi, Kenya. The gathering was attended by 35 representatives from 11 African countries, and was organised by the International Actuarial Association.

In carrying out its work, the task force will engage with the actuarial community across the continent in order to address the homogenous issues currently facing the profession, and come up with Africa-based solutions. It will identify the various challenges facing the profession and common issues, suggest solutions and, lastly, recommend a vehicle for sharing experiences among the different national associations.

The task force has identified four main themes for its work under the acronym NAMES – supporting and facilitating the creation of National Associations, Marketing of the actuarial profession, with emphasis on its relevance to Africa, Education of African actuaries and establishing and maintaining high Standards of professional conduct.

The key milestone for its work is the 29th International Congress of Actuaries (ICA), which is taking place in March 2010 in Cape Town, South Africa. The task force is determined to ensure that the ICA 2010 marks a watershed in the development of the actuarial profession across the continent, as it is vital to the emergence and strengthening of its financial markets and the economic well-being of its people.

The seven members of the task force have been drawn from six African countries, covering individuals from actuarial students, academic institutions, international development and fellows of the actuarial profession. The chairman, Sundeep K Raichura (Kenya), is the current chairman of The Actuarial Society of Kenya, and the treasurer, Adrian Baskir (South Africa), is the immediate past president of the Actuarial Society of South Africa (ASSA). In addition, Olawale Opayinka (Nigeria/UK), the secretary, works to promote the love of mathematics and the actuarial discipline to poor African countries through 3E Foundation.

The other members are Faith Mpatwa (Tanzania), Dr Patrick Weke (Kenya), Douglas Hoto (Zimbabwe) and Ernest Amartey-Vondee (Ghana). The task force has the full support of some of the leading national actuarial associations in the continent, and the secretariat will function out of the administrative offices of ASSA in Cape Town.