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African governance progress lagging behind needs and expectations of growing population, finds 2018 Ibrahim Index of African Governance

African governance progress lagging behind needs and expectations of growing population, finds 2018 Ibrahim Index of African Governance

Dakar and London – The 2018 Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG), launched on Monday by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, highlights that public governance progress in Africa is lagging behind the needs and expectations of a growing population, composed mainly of young people.

Over the last decade, Overall Governance has on average maintained a moderate upward trajectory, with three out of four of Africa’s citizens (71.6%) living in a country where governance has improved.

African governments have struggled to translate economic growth into improved Sustainable Economic Opportunity for their citizens

Since 2008 the African average score for Sustainable Economic Opportunity has increased by 0.1 point, or 0.2%, despite a continental increase in GDP of nearly 40% over the same period. There has been virtually no progress in creating Sustainable Economic Opportunity, meaning it remains the IIAG’s worst performing and slowest improving category. Defined as the extent to which governments enable their citizens to pursue economic goals and prosper, the almost stagnant Sustainable Economic Opportunity trend strikes a concerning contrast with demographic growth and youth expectations. Africa’s population has increased by 26.0% over the last ten years and 60% of the continent’s 1.25 billion people are now under the age of 25.

African countries show increasing divergence in Overall Governance performance. Continental progress is mainly driven by 15 countries that have managed to accelerate their pace of improvement over the last five years. Progress is most striking in Côte d’Ivoire, Morocco and Kenya. Divergence is also reflected in Sustainable Economic Opportunity trends. While 27 of Africa’s countries have shown some improvement, in 25 countries, accounting for 43.2% of Africa’s citizens, Sustainable Economic Opportunity performance has declined over the last ten years.

There is no strong relationship between the size of a country’s economy and its performance in Sustainable Economic Opportunity. In 2017, four of the ten countries with the highest GDP on the continent score below the African average score for Sustainable Economic Opportunity and sit in the lower half of the rankings, namely: Algeria, Angola, Nigeria, and Sudan. Meanwhile two of the smallest economies on the continent, Seychelles and Cabo Verde, reach the 5th and 6th highest scores in providing Sustainable Economic Opportunity for their citizens.

Declining Business Environment runs counter to the growing working age population

Calling for attention is the trajectory of the African average score for Business Environment. Deteriorating by almost -5.0 points over the last ten years, this is a worrying trend given that the number of working age Africans (15-64 years old) is expected to grow by almost another 30% over the next ten years.

This will increase demand for jobs in an environment where on average progress in Sustainable Economic Opportunity is almost non-existent. Such demographic figures create a further striking contrast with the drop of -3.1 points in Satisfaction with Employment Creation since 2008.

Additionally, the indicator measuring Promotion of Socio-economic Integration of Youth registers an average continental decline of -2.3 over the last decade.

Education outcomes are worsening

Further cause for concern is Education. While Human Development is one of the bigger success stories of the 2018 IIAG, driven by improvements in Health, the stalling progress in Education seen in last year’s IIAG has now turned to decline.

For 27 countries, Education scores registered deterioration in the last five years, meaning that for more than half (52.8%) of Africa’s youth population, education outcomes are worsening. This drop is driven by a fall in the indicators measuring whether Education is meeting the needs of the economy, education quality, and citizens’ expectations of education provision.

Civil society space is shrinking

Progress in Participation & Human Rights has been made on average. Almost four out of five of Africa’s citizens (79.6%) live in countries that have progressed in this dimension over the last decade. However, ‘free and fair’ executive elections do not always translate into a better participatory environment. Alarmingly, citizens’ political and civic space in Africa is shrinking, with worsening trends in indicators measuring Civil Society Participation, Civil Rights & Liberties, Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Association & Assembly.

Welcome progress in Rule of Law and Transparency & Accountability, which are key to sound governance performance

Although Personal Safety and National Security continue to show average decline over the last decade, Rule of Law and Transparency & Accountability have begun to register welcome progress. Rule of Law is the most improved sub-category in the IIAG over the last five years. African average performance in Transparency & Accountability has also improved, though more needs to be done as it remains the worst performing sub-category.

The IIAG highlights that citizens’ rights and welfare are key to progress in public governance. Overall Governance scores are strongly correlated with citizen-centred measures, including property rights, civil rights & liberties, government accountability and social welfare policies.

The IIAG results also confirm that Rule of Law and Transparency & Accountability are key pillars of good governance. These two sub-categories show the strongest relationships with Overall Governance scores in Africa, with strong performance in these areas being the most common components of countries that perform well. Transparency & Accountability is also strongly related to the Sustainable Economic Opportunity category and Business Environment sub-category, indicating that improvements in these areas will support progress and economic opportunity in Africa.

Mo Ibrahim, Chair of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, said,“We welcome progress in Overall Governance, but the lost opportunity of the past decade is deeply concerning. Africa has a huge challenge ahead. Its large and youthful potential workforce could transform the continent for the better, but this opportunity is close to being squandered. The evidence is clear – young citizens of Africa need hope, prospects and opportunities. Its leaders need to speed up job creation to sustain progress and stave off deterioration. The time to act is now.”


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Sanlam 2018 Annual Results

7 March 2019

 

Sanlam’s 2018 annual results provides testimony to its resilience amid challenging operating conditions and negative investment markets

Sanlam today announced its operational results for the 12 months ended 31 December 2018. The Group made significant progress in strategic execution during 2018. This included the acquisition of the remaining 53% stake in SAHAM Finances, the largest transaction concluded in the Group’s 100-year history, and the approval by Sanlam shareholders of a package of Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) transactions that will position the Group well for accelerated growth in its South African home market.

Operational results for 2018 included 14% growth in the value of new life insurance business (VNB) on a consistent economic basis and more than R2 billion in positive experience variances, testimony to Sanlam’s resilience in difficult times.

The Group relies on its federal operating model and diversified profile in dealing with the challenging operating environment, negative investment markets and volatile currencies. Management continues to focus on growing existing operations and extracting value from recent corporate transactions to drive enhanced future growth.

The negative investment market returns and higher interest rates in a number of markets where the Group operates had a negative impact on growth in operating earnings and some other key performance indicators. This was aggravated by weak economic growth in South Africa and Namibia and internal currency devaluations in Angola, Nigeria and Zimbabwe.

Substantial growth in Santam’s operating earnings (net result from financial services) and satisfactory growth by Sanlam Emerging Markets (SEM) and Sanlam Corporate offset softer contributions from Sanlam Personal Finance (SPF) and Sanlam Investment Group (SIG).

Key features of the 2018 annual results include:

Net result from financial services increased by 4% compared to the same period in 2017;

Net value of new covered business up 8% to R2 billion (up 14% on a consistent economic basis);

Net fund inflows of R42 billion compared to R37 billion in 2017;

Adjusted Return on Group Equity Value per share of 19.4% exceeded the target of 13.0%; and

Dividend per share of 312 cents, up 8%.

Sanlam Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr Ian Kirk said: “We are satisfied with our performance in a challenging operating environment. We will continue to focus on managing operations prudently and diligently executing on our strategy to deliver sustainable value to all our stakeholders. The integration of SAHAM Finances is progressing well. In addition, Sanlam shareholders approved the package of B-BBEE transactions, including an equity raising, at the extraordinary general meeting held on 12 December 2018. Our plan to implement these transactions this year remains on track.”

Sanlam Personal Finance (SPF) net result from financial services declined by 5%, largely due to the impact of new growth initiatives and dampened market conditions. Excluding the new initiatives, SPF’s contribution was 1% down on 2017 due to the major impact that the weak equity market performance in South Africa had on fund-based fee income.

SPF’s new business sales increased by 4%, an overall satisfactory result under challenging conditions. Sanlam Sky’s new business increased by an exceptional 71%. Strong growth of 13% in the traditional individual life channel was augmented by the Capitec Bank credit life new business recognised in the first half of 2018, and strong demand for the new Capitec Bank funeral product. The Recurring premium and Strategic Business Development business units also achieved strong growth of 20%, supported by the acquisition of BrightRock in 2017. Glacier new business grew marginally by 1%. Primary sales onto the Linked Investment Service Provider (LISP) platform improved by 5%, an acceptable result given the pressure on investor confidence in the mass affluent market. This was however, offset by lower sales of wrap funds and traditional life products.

The strong growth in new business volumes at Sanlam Sky had a major positive effect on SPF’s VNB growth, which increased by 7% (14% on a comparable basis).

Sanlam Emerging Markets (SEM) grew its net result from financial services by 14%. Excluding the impact of corporate activity, earnings were marginally up on 2017 (up 8% excluding the increased new business strain).

New business volumes at SEM increased by 20%. Namibia performed well, increasing new business volumes by 22% despite weak economic conditions. Both life and investment new business grew strongly. Botswana underperformed with the main detractor from new business growth being the investment line of business, which declined by 24%. This line of business is historically more volatile in nature.

The new business growth in the Rest of Africa portfolio was 68% largely due to corporate activity relating to SAHAM Finances, with the East Africa portfolio underperforming.

The Indian insurance businesses continued to perform well, achieving double-digit growth in both life and general insurance in local currency. The Malaysian businesses are finding some traction after a period of underperformance, increasing their overall new business contribution by 3%. New business production is not yet meeting expectations, but the mix of business improved at both businesses.

SEM’s VNB declined by 3% (up 6% on a consistent economic basis and excluding corporate activity). The relatively low growth on a comparable basis is largely attributable to the new business underperformance in East Africa.

Sanlam Investment Group’s (SIG) overall net result from financial services declined by 6%, attributable to lower performance fees at the third party asset manager in South Africa, administration costs incurred for system upgrades in the wealth management business and lower earnings from equity-backed financing transactions at Sanlam Specialised Finance. The other businesses did well to grow earnings, despite the pressure on funds under management due to lower investment markets.

New business volumes declined by 13% mainly due to market volatility and low investor confidence in South Africa. Institutional new inflows remained weak for the full year, while retail inflows also slowed down significantly after a more positive start to the year. The international businesses, UK, attracted strong new inflows (up 57%).

Sanlam Corporate’s net result from financial services increased by 4%, with the muted growth caused by a continuation of high group risk claims experience. Mortality and disability claims experience weakened further in the second half of the year, which is likely to require more rerating of premiums in 2019. The administration units turned profitable in 2018, a major achievement. The healthcare businesses reported satisfactory double-digit growth in earnings, while the Absa Consultants and Actuaries business made a pleasing contribution of R39 million.

New business volumes in life insurance more than doubled, reflecting an exceptional performance. Single premiums grew by 109%, while recurring premiums increased by a particularly satisfactory 56%.

The good growth in recurring and single premium business, combined with modelling improvements, supported a 64% (71% on a comparable economic basis) increase in the cluster’s VNB contribution.

Following a year of major catastrophe events in 2017, Santam experienced a relatively benign claims environment in 2018. Combined with acceptable growth in net earned premiums, it contributed to a 37% increase in gross result from financial services (41% after tax and non-controlling interest). The conventional insurance book achieved an underwriting margin of 9% in 2018 (6% in 2017).

As at 31 December 2018, discretionary capital amounted to a negative R3.7 billion before allowance for the planned B-BBEE share issuance. A number of capital management actions during 2018 affected the balance of available discretionary capital, including the US$1 billion (R13 billion) SAHAM Finances transaction. Cash proceeds from the B-BBEE share issuance will restore the discretionary capital portfolio to between R1 billion and R1.5 billion depending on the final issue price within the R74 to R86 price range approved by shareholders.

Looking forward, the Group said economic growth in South Africa would likely remain weak in the short to medium term future, and would continue to impact efforts to accelerate organic growth. The outlook for economic growth in other regions where the Group operates is more promising. Recent acquisitions such as the SAHAM transaction should also support operational performance going forward.

“We remain focused on executing our strategy. We are confident that we have the calibre of management and staff to prudently navigate the anticipated challenges going forward,” Mr Kirk concluded.

Details of the results for the 12 months ended 31 December 2018 are available at www.sanlam.com.