Climate risk data and modelling for Africa
Climate risk data and modelling for AfricaMarch 25, 2020 •
The rise in climate-related hazards and catastrophic weather increases economic risks for low-income and middle-income countries. While insurance allows for faster recovery from disasters and increases resilience to future disasters, low-income and middle-income countries have large insurance protection gaps. The Insurance Development Forum estimates that USD160 billion of assets are uninsured in emerging economies.
Limitations of publicly available data and disaster risk models to effectively predict the disasters impose barriers for public and private sector management and mitigation of disaster-related risks. During the April 2019 UNEP PSI Africa Market Event in Lagos, a working group was formed to drive collaboration to address this challenge. The aim of the working group is to improve participants’ understanding of risk to drive adaptation for more resilient communities and a more sustainable, insurable Africa.
To take this initiative forward, the working group hosted a workshop to collaborate on consolidating climate data, models and flood maps. This workshop and subsequent collaboration are necessary since, while some key datasets exist, they are not always known or used by decision-makers to mitigate and respond to disasters.
Our brainstorming workshop co-hosted with Santam, FSD Africa and InsuResilience aimed to strengthen collaboration between regional insurers and reinsurers, global partners on data and modelling, and city governments, so that insurers can underwrite a wider range of risks within an ever-changing African urban risk environment. Specific objectives are as follows:
- To identify gaps in the data, models, flood maps and approaches that underwriters need in order to effectively operate where climate change makes relying on historical data and models problematic
- To identify models and data that are already available globally and among partners and to find opportunities for collaboration to fill the gaps that will ultimately enable deeper insights into local risk
- To identify ways in which cities and governments could reduce risk and make underwriting easier
If you are interested in learning more about the workshop or our climate risk finance work, please contact Kate Rinehart-Smit
 The founding members of the working group are from NamibRe, Santam, University of Cape Town, Continental Re, and a Sustainable Finance researcher. Membership is open to anyone interested in actively contributing to the objectives of the working group.