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Talking notes on african pension supervisors forums for iops executive committee meeting on 10th november 2020

The African Pension Supervisors Forum (APSA) was formed during an inaugural conference for pension supervisors from African held in September, 2019 in Nairobi, Kenya.

The main objective of its formation was to bring together pension supervisors from across the African continent and provide a platform for collaboration, co-operation and exchange of information and ideas to better supervise, regulate and grow the pensions sector in Africa.

During the first conference in 2019, an interim office elected to run for two years from January 2020 to December 2021 after which they shall hand over to a new committee. The interim committee was mandated was to come up with a legal framework to anchor the Forum including setting up of a permanent secretariat as well as foster collaboration between the Forum and other international organisations including the International Organisation of Pension Supervisors (IOPS). In addition, the date for the second APSA forum was agreed on as September, 2020 in Kigali Rwanda.

Consequently, the second APSA conference was held virtually on 10th and 11th September 2020 owing to the advent of Covid-19 global pandemic. The virtual conference was themed “Africa’s Pension Industry During and After COVID-19”.

The conference discussions revolved around five key areas namely: – Roundtable on experiences from various Jurisdictions on how they dealt with impact of COVID-19 on the Pension Industry; Hindrances to expansion of pension sector development in Africa and possible ways to address them; Pension Plans of the Future & Leveraging on ICT; Consumer Protection, Financial Education and Communication during COVID-19; and Investment of Pension Assets in the COVID-19 Era.

The conference discussions were concluded with highlights on some key outcomes that required follow up by the interim executive committee of the APSA. Some of the pertinent issues identified include;

  1. Setting up of a secretariat as well as identifying the source of funding for the secretariat and APSA activities,
  2. Network with other pension regulators in other countries in Africa and encourage them to join the Africa Pension Supervisors Forum and contribute towards the forum.
  3. Putting in place a legal framework to guide cooperation between participating institutions.
  4. Coming up with a programme of activities and projects for instance, Capacity building of staff of collaborating pension regulators on the relevant aspects of supervisory roles such as actuarial modelling or Fintech, Creation of a database on pensions in Africa, and Creation of Pan-African investment interventions amongst others.
  5. Developing of Memorandum of understanding (MOU) to be signed amongst member institutions defining clear Terms of Reference.