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Tom Herbstein

Tom is the Insurance Prosperity Specialist at the UK’s Department for International Trade (DIT). He works at the overlap between the UK's international development, and trade agendas. His specific areas of focus include financial services technology, disaster risk financing, and climate resilience. Tom co-leads Tech for Growth, a cross-government programme aimed at enhancing the role of technology in deepening access to financial services across emerging economies.

Prior to DIT, Tom led ClimateWise - hosted by the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership -the global insurance industry network on climate change.

Tom holds a PhD on insurance and climate development from the University of Cape Town. He has worked at the interface between the public, private and non-profit sectors for most of his career and has worked extensively across both developed and developing markets.

Blog Posts from Tom Herbstein

30.11.2020 | Pascale Lamb, Tom Herbstein | InsurTech, Sub-Saharan Africa, Supervisory Dialogue

InsurTech – shaping financial services in Sub-Saharan Africa

Delivering financial inclusion is a core principle of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) given its role in eradicating poverty. Africa is particularly impacted, given that half of the population is without access to formal financial services. Access to bank accounts hovers at 40%, while insurance accounts for just 3% of GDP, against a global average of 7%. However, recent technological developments have led to the financial system becoming more accessible, to low-income populations than ever before. Across Sub-Saharan Africa, for example, the growth of mobile penetration rates has risen to over 43%, providing a crucial platform for the digital expansion of financial services.