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Risk Management Experts Gather in Nairobi to Tackle Financial and Climate Challenges

Over 70 risk management professionals from diverse sectors convened at Equity Bank Headquarters in Nairobi on April 12 for the inaugural meeting of the Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP) East Africa chapter. The forum provided a platform to discuss complex risk management strategies in finance, climate, energy, and more.

Keynote speakers, including Raheel Qureshi of Petrocam Kenya and Allan Anyona from Family Bank, emphasized the critical role of advanced statistical methods and data science in navigating the volatile economic landscape marked by significant FX fluctuations and interest rate risks. They advocated for the integration of machine learning and artificial intelligence in daily risk management practices, focusing on leveraging both structured and unstructured data for comprehensive risk assessment.

Discussions at the meeting also highlighted the need for setting appropriate market risk limits and using derivatives cautiously to manage and mitigate financial risks effectively. Edward Sangany of the International Finance Corporation pointed out the financial instabilities in countries like Ghana, Zambia, and Ethiopia, underscoring the importance of keeping a close eye on yield curves and liquidity positions.

Valentino Michira, a risk engineer with KPLC, called attention to the impact of climate change on economic values and urged the pursuit of sustainable development within organizations to foster climate resilience in East African economies.

Risk Management Experts Gathered at the Equity Bank Headquarters to Tackle Financial and Climate Challenges

The event stressed the necessity for a multidisciplinary approach to risk management, integrating insights from behavioral science, economics, and cybersecurity. The importance of enhancing the risk culture within organizations was also discussed, with emphasis on making risk management a compliance and value-added function.

β€œAn effective risk management in banking, insurance & other institutions in the country and the region will give us strong, safe, and reliable banks. Insurance companies and enterprises that will support the rest of the economy aid the countries’ development agenda.” said Lamex Ogweno, the GARP FRM ambassador for East Africa

The Chief Guest was Edgar Mwandawiro, Chief Risk Officer SBM Bank Kenya, who encouraged risk managers to try and find ways to be effective communicators by demystifying their qualitative & quantitative reports to their boards.

“Risk managers should give forward looking information over and above reporting the current risk status & that all risk managers should pursue the complementary goals of having risk management as both a compliance and a value-added function.” he added

With the commitment to meet quarterly, GARP East Africa aims to enhance risk management practices that will support safe and resilient financial institutions and contribute to regional economic development.

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