The African Leadership University (ALU) and Swiss Re today announce the official launch of ALU’s School of Insurance, which will begin offering innovative short-courses and executive education to upskill existing insurance professionals across the continent.
The school will also offer full-time BSc Actuarial Science programmes designed to meet the needs of local African insurers. The courses will combine ALU’s creative and dynamic learning methodology, preparation for Actuarial and Insurance qualifications and the possibility for internships for selected students at Swiss Re and other insurance partners. The Swiss Re Foundation’s financial support will allow access to ALU’s programmes for students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
The insurance industry across Africa has taken great steps forward in recent years to close the continent’s insurance protection gaps and in turn to play a role in forging more financially resilient economies. However, one factor limiting the industry’s ability to increase insurance penetration is the lack of specialized education for insurance professionals in Africa.
The African Leadership University’s School of Insurance addresses the need to create a deep talent pool for the next generation of insurance leaders. Supported by the Swiss Re Foundation, the new School of Insurance provides a training ground for young, talented insurance professionals to begin shaping the future of the insurance industry.
Students enrolled in all School of Insurance undergraduate programmes will undergo a rigorous tailor-made curriculum focused on the needs of the insurance industry. In the first year, they will take the standard ALU leadership core programme, which teaches core skills such as data science, analytical reasoning, leadership, critical thinking, project management, communication, and entrepreneurial thinking.
From the second year onwards, students work towards both an undergraduate degree from ALU, and preparation for their IFOA Certified Actuarial Analyst exams, the first step to becoming a chartered Actuary. Those not going into the actuarial field will sit for their chosen insurance qualification, which may include Risk Management, Underwriting, or Claims.
The partnership to bring the ALU School of Insurance to life is an example of how to extend collaboration between stakeholders who may not traditionally work together, but who share a vision to build a sustainable economic future for Africa. Swiss Re is leading a coalition of leading insurance companies across Africa, including Liberty Life, Hollard Insurance, Africa Re, Gibraltar and Milliman Consulting in bringing this school to reality.
The school’s curriculum is being designed in consultation with industry experts, including, Marjorie Ngwenya, President of Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFOA), and Ian Ross, the former Chief Underwriter for Hollard Insurance who now serves as the Executive Chairman of the school. Swiss Re will have a non-executive chair for the Council of the School of Insurance, providing strategic advice and high-level guidance to the executive. This will ensure that it meets the latest requirements of the industry.
Fred Swaniker, Founder & CEO African Leadership University, described how “ALU has a strong vision to nurture new business talent across the continent. The School of Insurance will continue this impact by building and leading tomorrow’s insurance companies in Africa. We look forward to collaborating with Swiss Re to make this vision of African transformation a reality, and creating a strong leadership base for the next generation of insurers.”
The Swiss Re Foundation will provide financial support for 150 students. A vital part of the funding includes a programme to ensure access to the school’s programmes for talented future leaders from financially disadvantaged backgrounds.
Swiss Re’s commitment also reaches through the ranks of its global insurance experts, who will be actively engaged in academic and programme support for the ALU. In-line with the ALU’s philosophy, Swiss Re’s work has also brought together other industry players to ensure trainee and work experience opportunities exist for students.
Tavaziva Madzinga, Market Executive for the Middle East and Africa at Swiss Re, said: “It is essential for the long-term success of the African insurance industry that we have a strong pool of homegrown African leadership talent. Swiss Re, through the Swiss Re Foundation, is proud to offer both financial and expert resources to make that happen. This is a clear signal that we are reinforcing our commitment to Africa’s insurance industry. With the ALU’s creative and dynamic approach to education, we’ve found the ideal partner to secure the next generation of insurance leaders.”