Now reading: Mia Thom

Mia Thom


Mia has been part of the Cenfri team since 2012 and has extensive experience in how markets work to serve people, how to regulate for innovation and designing innovative business models that encourage financial and economic inclusion. Mia leads our insights team, working with Cenfri’s thematic and programme leads to determine and implement our impact agenda. Most of her current work focuses on private sector innovation, insurance market development and green finance, but she has also lead work to address challenges in payment systems, inclusive integrity and digital transformation. Mia spearheads a number of our multi-year programmes and a range of diagnostic approaches to build roadmaps for partners interested in unlocking development outcomes.

In her spare time, Mia enjoys all things related to food, particularly cooking for close friends and discovering exciting new ingredients from small, local businessesMia also enjoys exploring the wild, beautiful surroundings of Cape Town. 

Recent highlights 
  • Leading the five-year Risk, Remittances and Integrity (RRI) programme on behalf of FSDA and designing and implementing projects under these themes.
    Leading and designing the multi-year Making Access Possible (MAP) financial inclusion diagnostics programme partnering with UNCDF and FinMark Trust. Implementing the DRC, Madagascar, Malawi and Eswatini diagnostics. 
  • Designing insurance market for development diagnostics with DFID and the World Bank, covering Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya and Rwanda, and implementing the Ghana and synthesis components.  
  • Working with private sector partners to develop approaches to unlock remittancelinked insurance business modelscovering partnership, consumer insights and regulatory considerations.  
  • Leading a feasibility and scoping study to inform FSD Africa’s approach to flood risk management and transfer in Nigeria, including identification of potential opportunities and constraints related to use cases, data and models to better manage and transfer flood risk. 
  • Member of UNEP Principles for Sustainable Insurance initiative. 
  • Member of the Insurance Development Forum including their insurance working group. 
  • Member of the Microinsurance Network. 
 Qualifications 
  • Registered Chartered Accountant with the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) 
  • All levels of the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) Institute examinations passed 
  • Master of Development Finance (cum laude), University of Stellenbosch Business School, South Africa   
  • Honours degree in Economics, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa  
  • Honours degree in Accounting, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa  
  • BCom in Accounting, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa 
Recent Content by Mia Thom
The potential of remittance-linked insurance products in sub-Saharan Africa
Exploring the potential of remittance-linked insurance products to improve the resilience of households in s...
Building African insurance market resilience
The need to build greater resilience in Africa and globally has been clearly demonstrated by the devastating ...
Inclusive AML-CFT models in Africa: Lessons from six financial service providers
This study set out to develop and apply inclusive compliance models in anti-money laundering and combatting t...
Exploring the value of financial services across digital platforms in the construction sector
The construction sector – which accounts for 4.5% of GDP in sub-Saharan Africa – forms a critical component of economies, but it faces signific...
Risk vs. resilience: Insuring sustainable African cities in the age of climate change
Though much of the global conversation is, understandably, focused on the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change c...
Climate risk data and modelling for Africa
The rise in climate-related hazards and catastrophic weather increases economic risks for low-income and middle-income countries. While insurance a...