Institute of Retirement Funds Africa: uniting for a secure future

by Geraldine Fowler  | 28,Feb,2024 | Industry Updates, IRFA, Q1 2024

As we step into 2024, the Institute of Retirement Funds Africa (IRFA) adopts a guiding principle that is both a vision and a mission: “Better Together.” This theme transcends being a mere motto; it is the north star for all of IRFA’s initiatives throughout the year. It heralds our commitment to nurturing a collaborative environment across the African retirement sector, with the aim of formulating strategies that are both synergistic and cohesive to enhance retirement outcomes and foster economic and social prosperity across the continent.

The tapestry of our shared experiences—woven with the threads of past challenges and triumphs—has consistently proven the might of our collective strength. From steering through economic turmoil to adapting to the sweeping changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is clear that unity and a shared purpose are our greatest allies in progress. It is with this spirit of collective advancement that IRFA shapes its agenda for 2024.

This ethos will be brought to life at our flagship event, our annual conference scheduled for 7th and 8th October at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. Here, stakeholders, from private sector service providers to government officials, will unite to champion the spirit of collaboration. This gathering aims to illuminate the collective intelligence that fosters innovation, addressing the retirement sector’s intricate challenges head on.

As a vanguard of the retirement sector, IRFA’s enduring role has been to facilitate the exchange of pivotal information and to spearhead educational initiatives that mould industry dynamics. The 2024 conference is poised to fortify this tradition, accentuating the synergy between the public and private sectors and streamlining processes to establish robust and enduring retirement systems. We will harness the rich lessons from our collective history, integrating insights from preceding conferences, to carve out a future that is resilient and inclusive.

Over the years, our conference themes have evolved, becoming more intricate and rich with each iteration—from the 2017 focus on “Social Development: Partnering for Change” to our current clarion call for unity. The theme for 2024 crystallises the collective journey of the past years, spotlighting the essential role of partnership in steering through the dynamic terrain of retirement funds.

The conference will not only be a time of reflection but also a forward looking forum that shapes the narrative of the African retirement sector. We will explore the synthesis of private sector innovations with supportive regulatory environments, addressing current challenges and anticipating future developments. Our objective is steadfast: to ensure that the African retirement sector is agile, responsive and supremely inclusive.

The “Better Together” theme will resonate through our communication campaigns, webinars, research endeavours and the prestigious IRFA awards programme. Each initiative will reflect this collective spirit, amplifying the message of unity and shared responsibility throughout the year. In alignment with targeted Sustainable Development Goals, we will explore the crucial impact of public-private partnerships, supportive regulatory frameworks, inclusive investment strategies and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investing. We are specifically targeting SDGs such as Decent Work and Economic Growth (SDG 8), Reduced Inequalities (SDG 10), and Climate Action (SDG 13), to ensure that the retirement sector’s growth aligns with the broader vision of sustainable development and inclusive growth on the African continent.

As we look ahead, 2024 is set to be a transformative year, with the IRFA at the helm of championing a united and secure future for all. Through the “Better Together” theme, IRFA is dedicated to fostering effective collaboration and inspiring innovation within the African retirement sector. By harmonising our efforts with key Sustainable Development Goals, we strive to enhance retirement outcomes and contribute to a sustainable and inclusive trajectory for growth across the continent.

The year ahead is brimming with promise, and IRFA invites you to join us on this journey of unity and commitment to a socially secure future—a future we will build better together.


Geraldine Fowler 
President  at IRFA | + posts