Changing times requires a new approach. As such, the annual conference of the Association of South African Black Actuarial Professionals (ASABA) to be held from 16:00 to 19:00 on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th of November will be hosted as a jam-packed virtual event. 

“The prestigious gala dinner that concludes the conference on 4 November, however, will allow attendees to attend in person,” says Nabeelah Kolia, ASABA president for 2022/2023. (Kolia will be taking over the reins from the 2020 Insurance Apprentice finalist and 2020/2021 ASABA president, Memory Zimba.)

Themed Back to the Future with Dr Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh of the youth current affairs show, the Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh Xperience (SMWX), as the keynote speaker,attendees can look forward to being empowered and equipped to step into the future with renewed insight and resilience.“As a South African author, media innovator, scholar and postdoctoral fellow of the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research, Dr Mpofu-Walsh offers attendees a fresh and unique outlook that will motivate and inspire them to excel in these ever-changing and challenging times,” says Kolia.

Day 1 of the event (2 November) will focus on Mentorship, whilst Leadership Development will be the core focus of Day 2 (3 November). The keynote speaker address, ASABA Annual General Meeting (AGM), celebratory award ceremony and high-status gala dinner will ensure a very busy and eventful final conference day on 4 November.

“Seeing that various speakers will be sitting in on the two panel discussions to be held throughout the event, attendees can look forward to the exclusive sharing of valuable industry information,” notes Kolia, adding that ASABA always aims to provide attendees with a suitable platform for business networking and the intelligent dissemination of not just useful information but stimulating discussions by top industry leaders in the country.”

Recognising those who play a key role in transforming the industry is another important part of ASABA’s role. That is why, this year, a total of six awards will be handed out, namely:

  • The Best University Chapter Award presented to the University Chapter that has set the standard for excellence in programming, member support and execution of strategy.
  • The Mentorship Award for a mentor who has had a significant impact on their mentees; someone who has mentored more than two mentees in a successful manner and whose mentoring skills can be attested to by at least one senior colleague or Actuary.
  • The Actuarial Women’s Committee Inkanyezi Award, which will be awarded to an actuarial professional who has achieved personal and professional success, provided mentorship to other females in the financial services industry and who has shown leadership in business and the greater community.
  • The President’s Award, which will be awarded (at the discretion of the ASABA president) to an individual who has made a significant contribution to assist ASABA in achieving their goals.
  • The Best Employer Award, as voted by working actuarial professionals.
  • The Best Vacation Work Employer Award, which will be awarded to the employer that invested the most in the development of actuarial trainees and hired the most vacation students.

Professionals who qualified as actuaries in 2020 and 2021 will also be awarded with certificates at the gala event.  

“To endorse, inspire and raise awareness on what the future might look like for the next generation of actuaries has (and will always be) a key commitment of ours as ASABA aims to make the actuarial profession more accessible and inclusive,” says Kolia.

She adds that through various initiatives, such as mentorship, schools and community outreaches, vacation work as well as a focus on the development of women in the workplace, ASABA plans to transform the South African actuarial profession as a whole. 

“It has been 16 years since ASABA’s establishment and immense progress has been made by my predecessors. However, there is still more to be done to realise a South African profession that represents the demographics of our country. The time for change, for honest and open communication, difficult conversations and progress is now. Over the next two years, we plan to challenge the status quo and provide opportunities for our members to develop and thrive in their careers. The actuarial profession that we are a part of now will not be the same at the end of our term – it will be even better,” she concludes.

Kolia will work closely with the members of the 2022/2023 ASABA executive committee who will be elected at the conference.


Visit www.asaba.co.za for more information on all the programmes they are involved in.

For media enquires – contact Retha van Reenen – rethavr@greengrapes.co.za

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