The African Risk Capacity Limited (ARC Ltd) Governance Committee has appointed two new Non-Executive Directors (NEDs), Ms. Sarata Kone-Thiam and Ms. Lade’ A. Araba, to join its Board of Directors thereby completing the Board complement of seven individuals in line with structure.
The new directors are joining a group of other industry experts led by Mr. Abdoulie Janneh in serving as Directors to steer ARC Limited towards a more sustainable future through sound, ethical, legal, governance and financial management policies and practices towards the advancement of its mission.
In just over 6 years of operations, 56 policies have been signed by the ARC Member States with USD 83 million paid in premiums for cumulative insurance coverage of USD 641 million and the protection of 64.1 million vulnerable population in participating countries. From this, ARC Ltd made $60m payouts to the Governments of Senegal, Mauritania and Malawi and the START Network following droughts episodes in 2014, 2015 and 2019. These funds have gone towards assisting over 2, 480, 500 million people whose livelihoods rely on agriculture, preventing the loss of hard-earned developmental gains in addition to 1, 295, 189 livestock. Governments have used ARC Ltd insurance payouts to scale up cash transfers, subsidize livestock feeds, replenish depleted food reserves, and distribute emergency food supplies. This is in addition to recent payouts of USD 2,13 million made to the Republic of Madagascar to cover 600,000 vulnerable population; and $1,755,890 to Government of Zimbabwe and WFP to support over 500,000 people affected by the drought in 2019/2020 agricultural season in both countries.
Speaking on the appointments, ASG Mohamed Beavogui, the Director-General of ARC Agency said, “We have always relied on the versatile technical knowledge and business savviness of our Board members in setting the tone for smart operations. The appointment of Sarata and Lade will invariably strengthen our strategy oversight and help consolidate the excellent governance practices we have acculturated over the years.”
The ARC Ltd is a financial affiliate of the African Risk Capacity (ARC), which is a Specialised Agency of the African Union established to assist member states in tackling the impact of natural disasters on vulnerable people. ARC transfers the burden of weather and other natural disaster risks away from governments, enabling them to build resilience and better plan, prepare, and respond to extreme events. Seeded by the UK’s DFID and Germany’s BMZ through KFW, ARC Ltd is a mutual insurance company that will eventually be wholly owned by African sovereigns.
Welcoming the new Directors, the CEO of ARC Ltd, Mr. Lesley Ndlovu, stated, “As ARC seeks to diversify its products and risk portfolio to better serve the needs of Member States in responding to climate and natural disasters in a more resilient manner, we need the expertise of trusted industry technocrats. I believe that Ms. Kone-Thiam and Ms. Araba will bring the right mix of experience and passion to enable us rapidly move towards extending our coverage thereby improving lives and livelihoods across the continent.”
The appointments of the new Directors’ terms commenced on 01 August 2020 and will run for renewable terms of up to 6 years in tenure.
The Non-Executive Directors:
Ladé Araba is a senior Development Finance Executive with over 17 years of experience. She is the Managing Director for Africa at Convergence Finance. She previously served as Technical Adviser to the former Minister of Finance of Nigeria and was the Head of the Strategic Monitoring Unit. She was also an Adviser in the Power Sector Team at the Nigeria Infrastructure Advisory Facility (NIAF), a Technical Assistance Program funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID). Prior to NIAF, Ladé was Technical Adviser to the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) where she advised on the building blocks for financing regional infrastructure projects and promoting intra-African trade.
She was formerly a Senior Investment Officer at the African Development Bank, where she played key roles in deal origination and appraisal and led diverse teams to obtain Board approval for senior loans to several infrastructure projects across Africa collectively valued in excess of $2 billion.
Ladé was an Enterprise Development Specialist at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and also worked for the QED Group LLC in Washington, DC. She holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from Thunderbird School of Global Management and a dual Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree in Management Information Systems (MIS) and International Business from the University of Oklahoma (2001). A native English speaker, she is fluent in French and Italian and has a basic knowledge of Spanish.
Ms. Sarata Kone-Thiam
Based in Côte d’Ivoire, Sarata KONE is the Managing Director of UBA Côte d’Ivoire since June 2016. She previously held the position of Deputy Managing Director of UBA Côte d’Ivoire between September 2015 and May 2016. Holder of a Master’s degree in Economics from the University of Montreal, Sarata is a seasoned banker with more than 22 years of experience in commercial and investment banking, and has occupied senior positions in major international financial groups such as HSBC and Citibank. She had a 12-year tenure with HSBC and, in her ultimate role with the Group, she held the role of Regional Director for West Africa (6 years). In this role, she was entrusted with developing the Group franchise in West Africa through a multi-product offering based out of Nigeria. Sarata’s contribution was key in developing HSBC’s franchise in the region. Ghana and Francophone Africa were also key focus zones to develop. Sarata has established her reputation in the Ivorian banking industry for having led UBA Côte d’Ivoire to being awarded the ‘Bank of the Year in Africa’ prize in 2019 by the Banker magazine for its performance and innovation. She has risen to become an influential woman in the Ivorian financial ecosystem.
Sarata speaks French (mother tongue) and English fluently and has basic Spanish.
About African Risk Capacity (ARC)
ARC consists of ARC Agency and ARC Insurance Company Limited (ARC Ltd). ARC Agency was established in 2012 as a Specialised Agency of the African Union to help Member States improve their capacities to better plan, prepare and respond to weather-related disasters. ARC Insurance Company Limited (ARC Ltd) is the financial affiliate of ARC Agency. It was established in 2013 to provide insurance to participating sovereigns. It is a mutual insurance facility providing risk transfer services to Member States through risk pooling and access to reinsurance markets; it is owned by Member States with active insurance policies as well as KfW Development Bank and the UK Department of International Development (DfiD), as capital contributors.
With the support of the United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, Canada, France, The Rockefeller Foundation and the United States, ARC assists AU Member States in reducing the risk of loss and damage caused by extreme weather events affecting Africa’s populations by providing, through sovereign disaster risk insurance, targeted responses to natural disasters in a more timely, cost-effective, objective and transparent manner. ARC is now using its expertise to help tackle some of the other greatest threats faced by the continent, including outbreaks and epidemics.