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Big expectations for APSA 2023

By Jude Mugabi

The Africa Pension Supervisors Association will be holding the 4th annual conference from 27th to 28th November at Serena Hotel Kampala. The Conference will happen under the them ‘Sustainable Pension Inclusion in Africa’. This yea’r conference brings together a wide diversity of industry players from the private and public sector alike to share ideas about how to advance the idea of pension inclusion.

It is expected that the conference, hosted by Uganda Retirements Benefits Regulatory Authority will seek to offer a platform for worthwhile discussions and exchange of ideas and experiences between several senior government officials and the various regulators that are working on pension reforms and implementation. It is expected that there will be representation from within Africa and from countries across Asia, Latin America and Europe. The conference will be a melting pot for people from different walks of life, all focussed on creating a tangible and feasible approach to the issue of sustainable pension inclusion.

Participants at the APSA conference will include policymakers, regulators, financial inclusion stakeholders including digital payment solution providers and national ID authorities, pension funds, insurers, aid agencies and think-tanks, thought leaders, senior economists and independent domain experts. The expectation for this conference is that there will be a close examination of a range of new ideas for achieving mass-scale pension inclusion and coverage including the role for existing digital public infrastructure and technology for easy access and effective governance. There will also be a deep dive into the key demand-side issues that have to do with behavioural finance, retirement literacy and financial capability in setting up a micro-pension mass-market as well as attaining some kind of consistent voluntary contribution by the non-salary earning people who may not necessarily have the luxury of regular and sizeable pay checks. There will also be need to venture into a discussion about the strategies to encourage voluntary and long-term savings through even avenues such as tax or other fiscal incentives for the target subscribers.

Another key area that will be visited is the importance of collaborative policy, regulatory and business efforts in delivering meaningful retirement outcomes, minimizing costs, optimizing investment returns and aligning pension reforms with ESG compliant investment strategies. An extremely important idea that the 2023 Conference is keen to push is the joint development of a replicable model and strategy for delivering an integrated pension, savings and insurance solution to unbanked, excluded individuals across the Continent.

As Uganda goes about the preparations of hosting this prestigious continental event, there is need to appreciate the milestones that the hosting body URBRA has attained over the past decade. Uganda’s position in the Retirement Benefits sector in Africa is one that is exemplified by the fact that as a host, there is need to show the progress that is being made in the industry.

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