Individuals, businesses urged to thoroughly assess risks

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Individuals, businesses urged to thoroughly assess risks
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Businesses and individuals must assess risks and challenges for continuity amid uncertainty, experts have urged.

Speaking during a CEO breakfast meeting organized by the American Chamber of Commerce Uganda and Marsh , a global leader in insurance broking and risk management at Sheraton Hotel in Kampala on business resilience and navigating the future of risk  , the Managing Director of Absa Bank Uganda, Mumba Kalifungwa businesses must know that with risk, they are dealing with uncertainties.

“For as long as you in business, risk is a given but what is critical is how you respond to it. There should be an element of anticipation by scanning the external environment on a constant basis,” Mumba said.

“For example in the banking sector, is important that risk management is part of your governance structure, starting from the board level where you must have a committee that looks at risk, at an executive leadership level you must have a committee comprising all the executive leaders looking at risk and everybody across the enterprises understanding the risk and responses in terms of mitigating those risks.”

He cited the financial services sector that he said is susceptible to risk due to its nature.

“For so long as there are financial assets that you are managing and customer confidential information that you are managing and in huge volumes, you are exposed in the sense that people may want to access that data you hold for the wrong reasons and normally related to fraudulent tendencies. Cyber risk exists and it will continue to be a threat as long as technological advancement continues,” Mumba added.

He said every day, wrong elements are working to hack data bases of financial institutions, ATMs, debit cards and mobile money transactions among others, noting that the financial institutions are under constant threat but said assessing these risks is key.

“Like with every problem, the first step is acknowledging that it exists. Knowing that we are all exposed to cyber risk is extremely important and while you look at risk profiling within your organization, you come up with interventions.”

The experts also warned about environmental, conflict and economic instability among other risks that people and businesses need to thoroughly assess.

“For example when if war breaks out in the Middle East, you must be able to know the impact it will have on things like the supply chain. We must be able to assess these risks. Generally, as organisations and human beings, we must build risk programs for what we can see but also predict the future and have conversations on how to manage them and channel resources,”said Patrick Matu, an Associate Director Advisory at PwC Uganda.

Xenia Waitherero the Country Manager, Brighter Monday Uganda spoke about the Artificial Intelligence and its impact in the job market.

“There has been a lot of discussion about AI  with many business leaders not think that in the short term,  it will be a risk but rather in the long term it could be a major disruption in the job market. We need to think about how we re-skill and upskill the existing workforce to take advantage of AI and be more effective and efficient in the delivery and not thinking about how to replace the entire workforce to take advantage of AI. It is key to think of how to integrate human and AI interaction to make business more successful,” Waitherero said.


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