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The promise of a good future as presented at the APSA Conference

By Daniel Turitwenka

It was almost unanimously agreed at the just concluded 4th Annual Conference of the African Pension Supervisors Association (APSA) at Serena Kampala Hotel that something urgent and drastic needs to be done to counter the dangerous trend in which Africa has only 10% pension coverage of its population. Sundeep Raichura, the Group Chief Executive Officer Zamara mentioend that it is important for Africa as a continent to admit that there is no proper working pension scheme so that the powers that be can begin to think of ideas that are home grown.

The admittance would be the first step towards ensuring that the events are altered and the future of a largely young continent is secured. Raichura also emphasised that there are 600 million workers in Africa who do not have any kind os safety net to rely on when they enter their old age. It is projected that the continet in the next 20-25 years, will have almost 225 million people over the age of 60. And instead of just sitting back and wishing the problem away, we need to come up with solutions that will fix the issue. Top on the list of possible solution would be having inclusive pension schemes.

The discussions at the APSA Conference entailed sharing of ideas from across the board and identifying where the local gaps are so as to find continental solutions that are long lasting.

Mr. Martin Nsubuga the Secretary, Africa Pensions Supervisors’ Association (APSA) & the Chief Executive Officer, Uganda Retirement Benefits Regulator Authority (URBRA) highlighted the importance of bringing more peope, partners, stake holders and players on board. The only way to grow the numbers is by involving more people from across the divide. According to Nsubuga, inclusivity begins right from just the discussions. These discussions need to be had in as many non-traditional spaces as possible. Since the continent is swarming with many young people, it is therefore important to shift the conversation towards them.

The 4th Annual APSA Conference was supported by FSD Africa, and PinBox

Solutions, as well as Prudential Assurance Uganda and Sanlam Investments East Africa among otheres. The presence of several players and stakeholder went to show how important the subject was and how involved everyone needs to be. Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan who is the African Development Bank country director and was the keynote speaker on one of the days called for cross cutting inclusive pension reforms. He insisted that for there to be an inclusiveness, it was important for there to be as many dialogues as possible. He pointed out that it was not just the pensions sector struggling with exclusion but even the young people. As such it is important to extend inclusiveness to as many people as possible.

Reading through the official conference communique, it became apparent that the conference delegates had decided to align pension funds investment strategies with climate-conscious principles and other Environment as well as Social and Governance (ESG) considerations among other things. As we wait for the results of the deliberations on 27th and 28th November at Serena Hotel, there is need to share as much information across different groups of people.

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