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African Risk Capacity Expands Cover To Non-sovereign Risk Transfer Buyers 

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The African Risk Capacity (ARC), which has so far provided parametric disaster insurance products to countries in Africa, is set to expand its client base to include non-sovereign actors, as it looks to grow and diversify its portfolio of risks.

The African Risk Capacity (ARC) has only provided risk transfer and parametric insurance to government’s so far. But now these products are going to be offered to non-sovereigns as well, enabling ARC to offer coverage to entities such as farmers in a country where the government does not have an ARC policy.

Expansion of the ARC risk pool is key to keeping its product offering viable, as the larger the risk pool becomes and the more diversified it is, the greater the reinsurance synergies and cost-benefits that can be achieved and passed on to its policyholder governments.

Today, African Risk Capacity Limited (ARC Ltd), the commercial insurer subsidiary of ARC, has announced a partnership agreement with an insurtech named Pula as part of its drive to expand offering of its capacity more broadly beyond just governments.

The goal is to deliver best-in-class agriculture index insurance products to protect African farmers from climatic risks, working with Pula which aggregates micro and meso parametric insurance for agricultural risk transfer buyers.

Pula provides the levers to connect participating farmers with regional insurance companies and global reinsurance firms, ARC explained.

Pula will work closely with ARC on product development, marketing, premium collection and claims disbursements.

The insurtech’s strong capabilities in Area Yield Index are expected to complement ARC Ltd’s strength in drought coverage, while relationships between Pula and farmers and other aggregators are expected to benefit from ARC Ltd’s relationships with African governments and industry regulators.

ARC Ltd CEO Lesley Ndlovu commented, “The ARC Group is currently expanding its product offerings to African Member States; and by experience, we have seen that there will always be farmers whose Governments may, by reason of fiscal constraints, not be able to take up an umbrella Sovereign disaster risk policy. Working with Pula will enable us to extend coverage to Member States and these farmers in a timely and targeted manner on a mutually adaptable basis.”

“ARC Limited is the first of its kind in sovereign disaster risk insurance in Africa,” added Thomas Njeru, the Founder and Co-CEO of Pula. “The development insurance approach of the ARC Group resonates with our mission to provide an end-to-end management of the delivery of insurance to farmers, including field operations, farmer onboarding, education and claims assessment and payouts. We envisage a win-win partnership that will leverage our best-in- class index insurance products and technology with ARC’s strong partnerships with Governments to provide ground- breaking products to farmers. In partnering with ARC we expect that we can push the boundaries of product performance to our customers and radically increase the access to insurance for millions of farmers across Africa, giving them access to the tools they need to become resilient in these challenging times.”

ARC had already begun diversifying its counterparties beyond governments with its replica parametric coverage, which allows an NGO or other organisation to buy parametric insurance that replicates the coverage of a government in a country it operates in.

Adding private sector risk transfer buyers could help ARC expand more rapidly, which it needs to do so it can recognise increasing reinsurance synergies and also peril and geographical diversification within its risk pool.

But it also puts ARC into competition with other direct sellers of parametric risk transfer and insurance in Africa, which could raise potential operational challenges as well, given ARC relies so much on private market reinsurance capacity.

As we explained recently, ARC is also looking to expand in terms of perils covered, as well as sources of risk.

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Control Risks Lists Top 5 Risks For Business In 2021

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The COVID-19 pandemic, emerging digital threats, climate change and the US China relationship are among the Top 5 Risks for business in 2021, published today by Control Risks, the specialist global risk consultancy.

Underpinning these risks, the danger of missing the rebound in a year of multi-speed recovery is a top risk for business in the coming year.

“There’s no doubt that businesses will continue to face considerable disruption from the COVID-19 pandemic, but we believe that the opportunities are real and exciting for many companies in 2021,” comments Control Risks CEO, Nick Allan.

All top 5 global risks are present in Africa but play out in unique ways. In some areas the continent presents a positive break from the more negative global trends, such as in the regional cooperation shown by the continent in its response COVID-19 and the planned launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA).

Overall, however, 2021 will be a tough year for a continent that will struggle to recover from COVID-19 as fast as much of the rest of the world. Despite many significant opportunities for investors, the markets they are investing in will be ones characterised by significant operational and political uncertainty.

The investors that will achieve success in 2021 are those that understand that Africa’s post-pandemic landscape will be tangibly changed from what came before, presenting different challenges and new opportunities.

The global Top 5 Risks for Business in 2021 

The Top 5 risks are released as part of Control Risks’ annual RiskMap report, a global risk forecast for business leaders and policy makers across the world, published today.

1. A world with long COVID

2021 will be a year of uneven recovery as vaccine rollouts create a world ofhaves and have-nots, with pockets of forever COVID at the bottom of the pecking order. Much of Africa, unfortunately, will be in the have-notcategory and companies will face prolonged operational uncertainty as localised restrictions are sporadically imposed in response to virus spikes. Africa’s economic recovery will also be more gradual, as governments with limited fiscal headroom cannot engage in sustained stimulus spending and must instead rely on under-developed private sectors to drive their recoveries.

2. US-China: stabilisation without normalisation

While 2021 should see superficial stabilisation in the US-China relationship, the straining of the international rules-based system seen over the past few years will not go into full reverse. Competition rather than cooperation will remain the norm in international relations. In this regard at least Africa represents a welcome break from global trends, as 1 January will see the launch of ACFTA, and although full implementation of a continental free trade area will be slow the fact that Africa is moving in that direction when much of the world is not should be attractive to potential investors.

3. Go green or go bust

An inflection point is coming for the relationship between businesses and climate change in 2021. No organisation can now afford not to take a stance. The environment is a critical aspect in a broader area of the ESG agenda. Although no African country bar South Africa has made a net zero pledge to date – without special funding, governments do not view it as a priority – the continent nonetheless has huge renewable energy potential. Renewable energy projects connected to microgrids make sense in a continent of small population centres spread over huge areas, and the recent liberalisation of energy markets in many countries has opened up multiple opportunities for private-sector investors. Without government backing, however, investor may ignore these opportunities for the subsidies and support on offer elsewhere.

4. Digital acceleration hits emerging threats

The remarkable increase in connectivity across Africa – in mobile phone penetration, internet penetration, social media use and data traffic flows – has opened up a vast array of new opportunities. This is evidenced by the rapid growth in the African tech sector over the past few years. But this connectivity also brings risks. Cyber crime has boomed across Africa, from simple scams to sophisticated attacks on critical infrastructure. Criminal and state actors have also engaged in influence operations, spreading misinformation and inflammatory content that poses reputational risks to companies as well as political players. Companies in Africa, just like the rest of the world, will have to balance the drive for technological innovation with security, integrity and resilience challenges.

5. Missing the Rebound

The coming year will see strong GDP growth in multiple markets, the roll-out of vaccines and a world hungry to start living again. While progress will be faltering, an uplift is coming – do not miss the rebound. If 2020 was about survival for many companies, 2021 is the time to focus on opportunity. Under the duress of COVID-19 many companies have flexed, not broken. Through innovation, rapid technology adoption and streamlining, they have emerged stronger, while weaker competitors have fallen. Those companies that turn the efficiency gains of 2020 into productivity gains, continue to accurately assess trends and show flexibility in adapting their operations will benefit from the coming surge in demand.

“Governance, policy consistency and rule of law are critical for investors in Africa and deep-rooted challenges remain across the continent in this realm, however we do see positive change across the region. Recovery will be an opportunity for governments to address structural constraints and promote new approaches & technologies – the region remains front and centre for many of our clients. For Control Risks, Africa sits at the heart of our past, present, and future – we continue to invest and see growth across the region” explains Tom Griffin, Partner – Africa and Middle East, Control Risks.

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Allianz Begins Olympic, Paralympic Partnership 

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Allianz officially began its eight-year worldwide partnership with the Olympic and Paralympic Movements on January 1, the company’s management has said.
“Allianz is proud to be the „Worldwide Insurance Partner” of the Olympic & Paralympic Movements,” said Oliver Bäte, Chief Executive Officer of Allianz SE. “As a supporter of the sports ecosystem and through shared core values of excellence, friendship, inclusion and respect, Allianz and our 148,000employees and 100,000 agents are excited to care and deliver for athletes, their families and their ambitions.”

Since announcing the partnership in September 2018, the insurer has engaged fans, athletes, teams and employees through health across four pilot markets – Australia, China, France and Spain. Allianz presented the Australian Olympic Committee’s Wellbeing Week to showcase ways to improve mental health. Allianz also worked with the Organising Committee Olympic Games Paris 2024 to encourage people to walk and run for “Club Paris 2024”, an initiative to move and be part of the Games.

Allianz will expand local initiatives to connect with athletes and fans across the world. To name a few, the global insurer will offer consumers and employees the chance to take part in the Olympic Torch Relay at Beijing 2022 and will engage youth with the spirit & values of the Movements at its Allianz Sports Camps through trying sports, building friendships and learning from athletes. Furthermore, it will support the Movements with tailored insurance solutions and services.

“Having announced this new agreement in 2018, our teams have already been working together in key pilot markets to support athletes and the Olympic Movement,” said IOC President Thomas Bach. “As we start this new Olympic year, we are excited to begin in earnest our global collaboration with Allianz.” 

“Allianz brings global visibility to the athletes and values of the Paralympic Movement and we look forward to our next phase working together,” added IPC President Andrew Parsons. 

The partnership runs from 2021-2028.

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Adamawa Begins Payment Of Outstanding Gratuity To Retirees

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Medugu who made the disclosure to journalists in Yola, said that the State and Local Government Councils jointly contribute N14 million monthly for the payments.

He explained that the amount being contributed monthly for settlement of the retirees’ gratuity would also help to cushion the hardship occasioned by COVID-19.”

So far, Government has settled the gratuity of about 6,300 local government retirees.

“And on monthly basis, State and Local Government’s Councils are contributing about N14 million for the payment of the gratuity.”

“According to our records, 989 local government Pensioners are not receiving their monthly pension, this is as a result of recent verification exercise,” he said.

Medugu urged the affected pensioners to be patient as the board was working to ensure that those mistakenly omitted  in the payment were integrated into the system.

Similarly, Chairman of Adamama State Pension Board, Mr Thomas Mahdi, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that Gov. Ahmadu Fintiri, had approved N1.5 billion for payment of gratuities.

Mahdi said that the payment of the arrears of gratuity to State Government retirees affected those who retired between 2009 and 2012.

“The payments are categorised based on Senior Ma

 

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