Johannesburg, July 23, 2018 – The African Risk Capacity (ARC) and the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences – Next Einstein Initiative (AIMS-NEI) held an inception meeting at ARC Agency Offices in Johannesburg as part of their framework agreement to work together towards promoting innovation and assisting AU Member States to better prepare for and respond to natural disasters and extreme weather events.
The objective of the meeting was to discuss, first hand, the feasibility of developing a certification programme, and implementing an internship programme and support to Research and Development which are components of activities contained in an already existing AIMS-NEI / ARC partnership agreement.
Earlier, in March 2018, the African Risk Capacity and the African Institute of Mathematical Sciences entered into a formal partnership agreement to foster innovation through scientific learning and problem solving aimed at helping African countries better respond to natural disasters and climate change.
Established in 2003, the AIMS-NEI is a pan-African network of Centres of Excellence for postgraduate training, research and public engagement in mathematical sciences that enables Africa’s brightest students to become problem solvers and innovators that propel scientific, educational, and economic self-sufficiency.
Speaking at the meeting, the Director-General of the African Risk Capacity, Mohamed Beavogui, paid tribute to the founders of the AIMS-NEI and reaffirmed the resolve of African Union to pursue home-grown solutions for climate and other natural disaster problems facing the continent. He indicated that the Africa RiskView, the tool deployed by the ARC, is the leading tool for drought risk management on the continent. With expansion into flood modelling and parametric insurance for outbreaks and epidemics, Mr. Beavogui stated that the ARC requires continuous high-quality research to develop the requisite insurance tools.
“The intention of the African Union in establishing the African Risk Capacity is to protect its vulnerable population from the costly impacts of natural disaster risks. In addition to pooling financial resources, this requires scientific research and innovation to work. Our partnership with the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences connects us with the continent’s top existing scientists and those in the making.”
To effectively deliver on its mission and stay abreast of cutting edge knowledge and best practices, ARC needs a progressive pool of African experts, as well as partnerships with other global actors, on risk modelling, actuarial sciences, insurance, disasters management, and pathogen modelling.
The AIMS-NEI has an extensive network of technical and professional experts with the know-how and facilities to conduct research and develop solutions that respond to industry objectives, including ARC’s goal to catalyse a better risk management system for Africa and provide the capacity building support required to implement such a system.
In his remarks, Mr. Moulaye Camara, the Managing Director of Operations of the AIMS-NEI Global Network, thanked the African Risk Capacity and its leadership for the innovative and trailblazing work they are doing towards helping Africa become weather risk and natural disaster resilient.
“Mathematical sciences underlies every modern technology and its application is found in every field. Considering that Africa, will be home to 40 percent of the world’s youth by 2050, investing in mathematical sciences is critical to drive the continent’s development forward. This requires collaborations with like-minded institutions and persons, hence our goal in partnering with ARC in its mission to create cutting-edge pan-African natural disaster response systems to help governments in protecting the livelihoods of their vulnerable populations.”
The African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) is Africa’s first network of Centres of Excellence in mathematical sciences. It was established to enable the continent’s youth to shape the continent’s future through science, technology, engineering and math education.
The African Risk Capacity model is home-grown, innovative, cost-effective, and is proving that it can assist member-states to strengthen their capacities to better plan, prepare, and respond to extreme weather events and natural disasters, thereby achieving the food security for their populations.
About African Risk Capacity (ARC):
ARC consists of ARC Agency and ARC Insurance Company Limited (ARC Ltd). ARC Agency was established in 2012 as a Specialised Agency of the African Union to help Member States improve their capacities to better plan, prepare and respond to weather-related disasters. ARC Ltd is a mutual insurance facility providing risk transfer services to Member States through risk pooling and access to reinsurance markets; it is owned by Member States with active insurance policies as well as KfW Development Bank and the UK Department of International Development (DfiD), as capital contributors.
With the support of the United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, Canada, France, The Rockefeller Foundation and the United States, ARC assists AU Member States in reducing the risk of loss and damage caused by extreme weather events affecting Africa’s populations by providing, through sovereign disaster risk insurance, targeted responses to natural disasters in a more timely, cost-effective, objective and transparent manner. ARC is now using its expertise to help tackle some of the other greatest threats faced by the continent, including outbreaks and epidemics.