What to expect from the World Pension Summit 2015 – Africa Special in Abuja
Mrs Chinelo Anohu-Amazu, the Director General of the National Pension Commission (PenCom) disclosed last week that the second edition of the ‘Africa Special’ for the 2015 World Pension Summit will hold in Abuja on October 5 and 6, at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel. This year’s edition introduces the ‘African Pension Awards’, by PenCom, which is set to be the main highlight of the summit. The director general gave a brief on the details of the summit while launching the commission’s new logo in Lagos.
The debut edition of the Africa Special, which held in July 2014, with over 400 participants from across the globe in attendance, was termed a great success by the organisers. This year’s event is themed ‘Building Sustainable Pensions Systems in Africa’, and it focuses on entrenching enduring pension systems across Africa, by emphasising pension funds as an avenue towards addressing the huge infrastructure deficit in the continent.
It would also attract experts from around the world in investment, infrastructure financing, real estate and other pension-related fields. According to Anohu-Amazu, the experts in the areas of pensions and investment would provide insights on global developments in pensions.
World Pension Summit – ‘Africa Special’ is the platform for pension stakeholders in Africa to build stronger relationships and exchange ideas, as well as provide pension professionals with an opportunity to network and share their experiences on global developments in the pensions administration.
This year, the African Pension Awards is designed to recognise excellence, achievement and commitment to the development of the African pension industry, in order to promote good and innovative practices in administration. It especially lends its focus to the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) amongst African countries.
The scheme aims to create an opportunity for African countries to evaluate the progress made in the development of their respective pension industries, and foster a positive local and global perception of the African pension industry.
“The award categories are Governance, Pension Coverage, and Socio-economic Impact. They are meant to recognise innovation and outstanding achievements recorded by African countries in the governance of their pension systems, including their efforts at widening the coverage of their CPSs, and their deployment of pension funds towards economic development and the promotion of robust financial system”, said Anohu-Amazu.
What to expect at the summit
At the summit, which is scheduled to hold in October, a number of issues (‘sub-themes‘) will be addressed, and these include the introduction of high level regional reports on the advancement of pension systems within the regions. This concept seeks to highlight developments within the pension space in Africa, improvements recorded in the pension industries based on the inaugural edition of the Summit, and the quality of services rendered by administrators and regulators of pension in their jurisdictions.
Other issues, sub-themed “reforms and developments in African pension systems (regional reports) and global developments in pension systems’’, “The real deal: Structuring pension investments for sustainability’’ and “Expanding investment frontiers for pension funds’’, would equally be addressed.
Also, Africa’s underachievement in the area of micro pension plans, as noted by the PenCom DG, would be discussed. She emphasised on the need to redress the situation by emulating the advances made in China and Kenya.
Harry Smorenberg, Founder and Chairman of the World Pension Summit, stated that “Africa’s growth story, particularly in Nigeria, its largest economy, has been well documented. But with such growth comes a responsibility, expectation and opportunity to leverage capital growth, using pension funds as an instrument for further economic and social development.”
The World Pension Summit was first organised in 2010. It is the platform ‘for and by pension professionals’, and the only truly global learning and networking experience. Its mission is to offer a global platform to pension experts to learn from innovative ideas and new strategies, discuss the future of pensions with global thought leaders, and get fresh perspectives on how to achieve sustainable pension provision.
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