Programme Overview

Conference Overview

Join us for the 4th Annual Africa Pensions, emerging Markets Investment & Retirement Forum as we look at the latest trends and solutions for retirement planning professionals.

The 2023 Africa Pensions & Retirement Forum and Dubai Forum will be held jointly 9 – 12 May 2023 at The Fairmont Hotel, The Palm, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Spanning four days, the forum agenda will cover key cross-cutting topics, discussed thematically through a series of plenary presentations and panels:

LT Savings & Asset Allocation in a Complex World Economy

Bringing together leading actuarial science/risk management, and pension and SWF investment experts from both G7 nations and the emerging economies of Asia, Africa, and Latin America to discuss ‘The Future of Asset Ownership & Risk Management’

Trusteeship & Governance: Learning from Best-in-Class Pension Board Members

Training G20, emerging markets and developing economies (EMDEs) pension board members (trustees) with trusteeship and governance thought leaders and practitioners from Melbourne, Brussels, Singapore and the City of London

Modern Pension Design & Pension Reform: from Melbourne to Namibia

Learning from best-in-class policy thinkers and national regulators, including pension and social affairs ministers, and prominent parliamentary committee chairs from across all G20 nations

ESG Data, Ai, and the Future of Finance

US, PRC, UK, Israeli and African tech entrepreneurs will present and discuss their latest projects with a select group of institutional asset owners, including Arabian Gulf and Asia Pacific sovereign wealth funds (“ESG Data Roundtable”, “Late Stage VC” plenary session)

Geoeconomics, Africa, MENA, and the New Silk Road

The ‘Age of Geoeconomics’ roundtable feat. US, EU, APAC incl. PRC, and Global South policy experts and institutional investors, putting in perspective the economic, and financial impact of China’s “Belt & Road Initiative” vs. the emerging “Biden Doctrine” and G7+ Partnership for Global Infrastructure etc.

Africa Pensions will run jointly with The Dubai ForumÔ which was co- founded by the Hon. Nick Sherry, APAC, UK & Ireland, fmr. Pensions Minister of Australia, Charity Wockelmann, Africa incl. Egypt & Maghreb, CEO, Africa Pensions, and M. Nicolas J. Firzli, EU, GCC & Americas, Executive Director, EU ASEAN Centre & Singapore Economic Forum (SEF)

Our Past Conferences

Brought to you by AFRICA PENSIONS

4th Annual Africa Pensions Emerging Markets Investment & Retirement Forum (EMIR)

Prepared by consultants, trainers, academics and practitioners of internationally recognized expertise and experience with a combined wealth of their vast experience, the event presents specific problems, solutions and case histories in the best practices in pensions and retirement funds management, policy and regulation.


  • The pension and retirement opportunities and challenges offered by the Covid crisis

  • New strategies for risk-sharing between schemes’ underwriters and members

  • Funding gaps and regulatory benchmarks

  • Redesigning the pension and retirement institutions to accommodate the informal sector in Africa

  • Geographically diversified portfolios and negative shocks

  • The strategic implications of increasing allocation to fixed-interest

  • Is the stock-market rally a misguided euphoria?

  • The risks of investing pensions and retirement funds in speculative investments
  • Dealing with entities claiming exaggerated and guaranteed investment returns

  • Managing the “Two-pot” system risks

  • The impact of technology on modern pension and retirement funds

  • Enhancing Trustee Conduct to Combat the Emerging Risks in Pensions and Retirement Funds Management

  • The risks and rewards of retirement funds investments in infrastructure projects

DAY 1.

DAY 2.

DAY 3.

DAY 4.


  • Institutional Investors – Pensions, Insurance, Endowments & Foundations
  • Chief Executive Officer / CEO / President
  • Chief Investment Officer / CIO
  •  Chief Risk Officer / CRO
  • Pension Board Trustees & Committee Members
  • Asset Managers, Advisory Firms, Consultants and Technology Experts
  • Portfolio Managers

1. Topics

The New Dawn of Risk-sharing Between Schemes’ Underwriters and Members
  • Schemes’ pre-crisis financial position and basic characteristics
  • Relationship between schemes’ assets and liabilities
  • Capacity to access additional resources – private public schemes
  • Schemes’ link to assets and revenues
  • Characteristics that determine the impact of crisis on pension schemes and the types of responses governments may consider
Asset Price Shocks and the Value of Pension Reserves
  • Relationship between a defined benefit scheme’s assets and liabilities
  • Full funding
  • Underwriters’ fiduciary obligations
  • Negotiated reduction of liabilities
  • Low-yield government bonds
  • Funding gaps and regulatory benchmarks
  • Schemes deficits and government deficit
  • Higher taxes and growing public debt
Extending Pension Coverage to the Informal Sector in Africa: Harmonizing the Different Strategies and Approaches across Africa
  • Informality the norm in in Africa
  • Why are the existing contributory pension schemes in Africa excluding the informal sector
  • The characteristics of informal sector workers
    The building blocks of an informal pension scheme
  • Rethinking financial inclusion in the Africa financial landscape
  • Responding to the needs of the informal sector in pensions
  • Informal sector pension scheme structure, pension product design
  • Redesigning the pension and retirement institutions


Are Bond Slides Irresistible for the Pension Sector?: The Australian Case
  • The fear of sliding into recession
  • Historic bond rout
  • Shifting from strategies that supercharged returns to an investment mix that can withstand a downturn
  • The strategic implications of increasing allocation to fixed-interest
  • Is the stock-market rally a misguided euphoria?
  • Selling stocks to de-risk portfolios
  • Is the firefighting is coming at a price?
  • The Treasury bond curve – the harbinger of recession
  • The 60/40 to power through to beat inflation
  • Not all downturns are all bad, is it time to shed deadwood
The Impact of Technology on Modern Pension and Retirement Funds
  • The digital wave
  • The virtual wave
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) influence
  • Putting employees in control
  • Strong focus on data and analytics
The Risks and Reward of Retirement Funds Investments in Infrastructure
  • The South African Regulation 28 of the Pensions Fund Act
  • Allowing greater private sector participation and crowd in higher levels of investment
  • The prudence of using retirement funds to close economic growth
  • Infrastructure asset categories
  • Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI)
  • Accommodating impact investing


Retirement Reform: Will the Proposed Two-pot System Retirement Regulations Help or Harm South Africa’s Savings Levels?
  • The 2022 Draft Revenue Laws Amendment Bill
  • What is the government hoping for?.
  • How many South Africans can afford to retire comfortably
  • Shifts in attitudes and behaviours of working households
  • The origins and fundamentals of the “two pot” retirement reform
  • The detrimental effects of early withdrawal from the retirement “pot”
  • Speculating on the improvement or reduction in the savings figure
  • Can short-term access encourage long-term saving?
  • The tax implications


Fine-tuning the Policy and Regulation Regime to Give Greater Priority to Longer-term Domestic Savings in the Economies
Developing Countercyclical Microfinance Savings Products to Build Resilience to Future Shocks
Thinking outside the Textbook: Strategies for Extending Pension Coverage to Informal Sector Workers
Geographically Diversified Portfolios and Negative Shocks
Pensions and Retirement Funds Investment in Speculative Investments: Zimbabwean Pensions Strategic Investments into Invictus Energy Case
Enhancing Trustee Conduct to Combat the Emerging Risks in Pensions and Retirement Funds Management 
Unclaimed Pension Fund Benefits: The Problem Persists!.
Dealing with Entities Claiming Exaggerated and Guaranteed Investment Returns
Good Practices for Pension Funds’ Risk Management Systems: Practical Lessons from the OECD Countries
Building a Solid Foundation of the Pensions and Retirement Funds: Channeling Longer-Term Domestic Savings of into the Productive the Industrial and Productive Sectors: The South Korea Case
The Pension and Retirement Opportunities and Challenges Offered by the Covid Crisis