Actuaries Without Frontiers


Ultimately, when we deeply understand the problems faced by our customers and our wider communities within society, we will be able to serve our customers better.

Actuaries Without Frontiers (AWF) was established as an Actuarial Society committee in 2007. The core purpose of AWF is to initiate, aid and enable financial upliftment and social development through skills and resources available within the South African actuarial community. In this regard, AWF looks to serve the public interest by addressing the role of actuaries within the broader social context. The current focus lies on financial literacy and financial inclusion projects in South Africa, encouraging the profession and its members to actively play a role in this field and by facilitating initiatives and projects which members can support.

A number of projects are underway as we take action demonstrating who we are and what we do:

  • Financial literacy workshop in Mamelodi
  • Mandela Day outreach activity
  • iMali online game – Further development of the beta version of the iMali online game
  • Hosting speakers at ASSA seminars and creation of the Immersive CPD program
  • Research —-We developed various research topics on financial inclusion for universities and have various members who supervise these.
  • Cape Town and Johannesburg outreach activities
  • Formalising of AWF partnership with the FSB

More information on out Outreach Programmes


Co-ordinate efforts within ASSA to liaise with the FSB, SAIA, ASISA, ASABA on financial inclusion FSB speech competition on financial education

FSB has invited AWF and ASSA members to be involved in the following initiatives

  • Act as coaches/mentors to learners taking part in the FSB Financial Inclusion speech competition.
  • Contribute to the National Consumer Financial Education Committee.
  • Participate and co-present at FSB workshops/activities, focusing on generic product design and development and how that benefits the consumer.
  • Attend FSB train the trainer sessions so that they can observe how the FSB prepares the presenters to facilitate at their workshops.

The objective of the immersive CPD programme is to create tangible opportunities for actuaries to connect with and understand the needs of the wider public. This will allow our profession to continue to meet the public interest and remain relevant by keeping in touch with the needs of the markets they serve.

Experience Description Experience
Solo Immersive Educational Experiences Solo immersion experiences provide an opportunity for actuaries to practice basic exercises that expose them to simple daily struggles of the underprivileged market.
  1. R15 a day challenge
  2. Public transport challenge
Workshop Immersive Educational Experiences AWF would look to facilitate several workshops to address key areas of limited knowledge on the circumstances of average South Africans.
  1. Financial literacy workshops
  2. Best Practices for running financial literacy workshops
Community Immersive Educational Experiences Community immersion experiences require a significant commitment of time from the relevant members interested in participating. Sessions will also require training ahead of any in-person interactions outside of the professional community, given the sensitivity of such exchanges. Insights and learnings are however likely to be richer as a result of direct connections built with relevant individuals sharing in their personal experiences.
  1. Joining a stokvel
  2. Facilitating debt counselling

For details of each of these experiences and how to go about engaging in these experiences consult the AWF Immersive CPD Programme
AWF Immersive CPD Programme

Why the need for the ‘socially aware’ actuary?

Our belief within AWF is that the role of the actuarial profession extends beyond our typical ‘customer’ or ‘client’ base with the need for more active work required on influencing the overall landscape of financial inclusion (in terms of access and quality) in South Africa.

The ASSA professional code of conduct indicates that actuaries are professionally accountable to serve the public interest through relevant policy debates, especially through the structures of the Society:

“23. The Society serves the public interest through its actuarial education and continuing professional development programmes, and by developing and enforcing standards. The Society also serves the public interest by engaging with regulators and in public debate. Members are encouraged to motivate improvements in regulation and participate in relevant policy debates, especially through the structures of the Society.”

“24. Members are encouraged to consider the public interest when rendering actuarial services… “

The dummy’s guide

Bias tests
Peggy McIntosh on White Privilege
Mamelod i for a month

Get the PhD

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Financial inclusion extends to the delivery of financial services at affordable costs to sections of disadvantaged and low-income segments of society.

Financial inclusion spans across several practice areas and can be incorporated into the profession via various mechanisms for engagement – the committee therefore focuses on addressing the role of the profession in driving the agenda of financial inclusion in various ways:

  • Encouraging volunteerism on financial inclusion projects by partnering and co-ordinating volunteerism of ASSA members for such projects.
  • Liaising with other practice areas to ensure the agenda of financial inclusion is addressed by the respective committees – thereby providing for a holistic strategy for ASSA’s role in driving financial inclusion in South Africa. The committee will also focus on encouraging research by the profession in the field of financial inclusion.
  • Pro-bono work by actuaries within the profession for projects where actuarial skills can be used to assist the agenda of financial inclusion. Such projects would typically arise from entities that do not have access to actuarial expertise and are unable to afford professional actuarial expertise. Such cases would be considered on a case by case basis.

The dummy’s guide

MiN_State of Microinsurance
World Bank – Minimum Wages in Developing Countries Helping or Hurting Workers
Microinsurance concepts

ASSA seminars

AWF hosted a panel discussion with 3 industry leaders (from RGA, Old Mutual and Inclusivity Solutions) on ‘rethinking product development for the Microinsurance market’ at the Cape Town and Johannesburg Life Assurance Committee seminars.  The panel had diverse backgrounds and experiences so they added a different perspective to the LAC seminar and was well received by LAC and the attendees. The LAC committee has asked AWF to arrange a slot for next year as well – off the back of a successful session this year

AWF held their annual Outreach events in Cape Town and JHB respectively this year.

The Cape Town event took place on the 25th July 2017. AWF took the kids of Trinity Children’s Centre, from the underprivileged community of Mitchells Plain, to the Cape Town Science Centre for an educational but fun-filled day. Lunch and a party pack were provided to the kids as well.

In JHB, on the 25th August 2017, volunteers from the ASSA community painted the outside school walls of Mdelwa Hlonwange Primary School in Soweto. AWF partnered with Liberty and the Tavern Restaurant in Mponyane Mall for the event which included providing breakfast and lunch to the kids as well.

These initiatives provided the profession an opportunity to give back to the broader community and in a small way make a positive difference to the lives of these kids.

Both events were a great success and was a truly a memorable and enjoyable day for the kids, staff and volunteers alike.

“Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart.” – Elizabeth Andrew

“A man’s true wealth is the good he does in this world.” – Muhammed

“It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead” – Nelson Mandela

In 2018, we aim to focus on:

  • Further develop and roll out iMali
  • Imbed the Immersive CPD program
  • Outreach activities for the ASSA community
  • Facilitate opportunities for knowledge sharing on financial inclusion and social development within ASSA (through seminars and talks from industry experts)
  • Imbed the FSB partnership and coordinate efforts for ASSA to liaise with SAIA, ASISA, ASABA on financial inclusion

AWF relies on the time and expertise of volunteers from ASSA – if you’re passionate about influencing the role actuaries play on wider social development and financial inclusion issues, we’d love to have you on board.

If you also have any questions or queries, or if you’d like to partner with AWF, get in touch with one of our team members:

AWF general team:

Nyasha Mapolisa | | +27 834 58 8345

Sandra Verryn

Gilbert Diala

Simba Chinyani

Joytika Nagar