By Favour Nnabugwu
Africa Reinsurance Corporation, Africa Re and the leading pan-African reinsurance company, Gallagher Re, the global reinsurance broking and advisory firm are joining forces to strengthen the financial resilience of African countries against a broad range of climate, crisis and disaster risks.
Named “Accelerating action through scalable risk transfer schemes”, the initiative is offering a robust, replicable, and modular framework to address a wide range of threats and to protect both assets and liabilities. Consisting of a comprehensive toolkit of innovative analytics, regulatory and policy advice, and financial optimisation services, it brings together public and private sectors to deliver customised, at-scale financial resilience solutions across Africa.
The support is highly customised to countries’ needs and priorities. It will focus on existing resources and domestic capacity, complemented where most relevant with third-party capital. Solutions developed would include risk transfer solutions to financing emergency response costs in the aftermath of a crisis, national insurance schemes for agriculture and crop, as well as weather derivatives and parametric products for public infrastructure, energy or tourism sectors.
Regional drought conditions and the global political environment (Africa is heavily relying on wheat imports from Russia and Ukraine) require prompt action and at-scale implementation plans. In this context, the partnership between Africa Re and Gallagher Re’s Public Sector & Climate Resilience Solutions global practice is an important stepping-stone towards sustainable economic growth and better-protected livelihoods on the continent.
These plans will be presented during a high-level event on 26 July 2022 in Cairo, Egypt, on the side of Africa Re’s General Assembly. Titled ‘Private-Public Catastrophe Risk Transfer Schemes: Bringing Resilience to Scale’, the conference will bring together Africa Re’s shareholders from 42 African member states and financial institutions, to explore and discuss the countries’ priorities and implementation options.
Dr Corneille Karekezi, Group MD & CEO of Africa Re, said, “Africa is already bearing the brunt of climate change – and the threat of global, interconnected shocks further jeopardises hard-won development gains and livelihoods on the continent. In line with our 2022-2025 strategy, this ambitious initiative aims to leverage private-sector and government expertise and capabilities for improved resilience and financial protection. It will also contribute to re-positioning Africa Re as the risk transformer of the African continent’s systemic risks.”
Mr Antoine Bavandi, global head of Public Sector, Parametric & Climate Resilience Solutions at Gallagher Re, added, “We will be putting to work our expertise in various domains to come up with the most practical and cost-efficient solutions to various risks, exposures, and country contexts. We look forward to laying out together the various building blocks of societal and financial resilience against drought, food insecurity and emerging risks in Africa with a deep sense of urgency.”
Ms Natalie Van de Coolwijk, regional director, Middle East & Africa at Gallagher Re, said, “ It is important that this project is designed and driven by Africans for Africans, hence why Africa Re is central to its success. They not only have a vested social interest, but also a fundamental understanding of the challenges facing the continent and its citizens.”