Cyber threats and climate change are among the emerging issues businesses need to devise solutions to as the professional body for risk managers met to deliberate the current volatile operating market.
The meeting which was attended by business leaders in risk management and other entities had anecdotes of the role the government should play and how risk managers should be utilised in enterprises to scavenge opportunities.
Institute for Risk Management East Africa chair Catherine Nyaga cited a report by the Communication Authority which indicated a rise of 200 per cent in cyber threats to 278 million in the third quarter of 2022 compared to the previous quarter.
“Amidst all these crises how shall we survive? How can we proactively manage the situation as individuals, entities, and governments?” she posed. “Are there actions we can take to minimise the effects of these challenges?”
The breakfast meeting was themed Building Resilience in Institutions and Communities.
Isuzu East Africa Managing Director Rita Kavashe, who was the key speaker in the meeting, detailed the importance of organisational culture in building the resilience of a business.
“It takes time to build resilience in an organisation. It begins with organisational processes,” she said. “We can audit all we want but we might not be able to actually flag out. That is why all these sagas happened in our lifetime and yet there were very many risk managers and auditors on the ground to check.”
IRM East Africa chair Ms Nyaga said such challenges are the reason behind the push to promote the profession and its importance in today’s business environment.
She said risk managers are not only important in managing the aftermath of incidents in entities but also help in identifying opportunities that a business can take advantage of to increase performance.
“For example, the government sought to buy cheaper fuel from alternative sources to manage the rising costs and depreciating shilling against the dollar. This was an opportunity that the government could have identified before the depreciation of the shilling as part of managing inflation,” said Ms Nyaga.
The chair said the economy is almost on its knees due to excess leverage to support recurrent government expenditure, depressed currency, and high cost of energy among other challenges which only compound the cost of living. “You may ask what went wrong? How did we get ourselves here yet some of these entities have internal auditors who confirm the records are accurate and controls are effective and efficient?” she wondered.