Sunday, 17 April 2016

Coups, insurrection and war pose growing risks to global business, with wider-ranging implications than terrorism or civil unrest

     According to the Aon Terrorism and Political Violence Map 2016, political violence risks are greatest in Sub Saharan Africa where six  countries have had their risk rating increased
     Growing risk of coups in four key African states
     Arc of high risk sweeps from Africa’s west coast to South Asia
Dubai, UAE, April 14, 2016 - Despite the dominant threat posed by so-called Islamic State (IS), sudden and potentially violent political upheaval is just as severe a risk for international business according to the 2016 Aon Terrorism and Political Violence Map, produced in partnership with The Risk Advisory Group. The map this year shows a rise in the number of countries with business-critical perils due to coups, insurrection or war, with Sub-Saharan Africa experiencing the greatest increase in political violence risks. 
The risk of coup d’├ętat and insurrection has been attached to twelve more countries this year, including Angola, Saudi Arabia, Kazakhstan, Zimbabwe and Angola. The majority of these additions stem from the risk of coups or other forms of power seizure, driven by uncertainties around succession in undemocratic or illiberal states. In Africa and other regions, a generation of aging autocratic leaders suggests that a tide of change is imminent. 
Sub-Saharan Africa is the region where we find the largest concentration of countries with high to severe risk. It also saw the most increases in political violence risk ratings this year, with six countries in the region having their risk rating raised – Angola, Burundi, Ghana, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Kenya is the country that bucks the trend; its risk rating was reduced as a result of an improved security environment.
The threat from terrorism, specifically from IS looms large. While its activities took on more lethal and disruptive proportions in the West, the most active regions for terrorism in the past year in terms of volume of attacks were by far The Middle East (1,114 attacks), followed by South Asia (799 attacks) and then North Africa (491 attacks)  and Sub-Saharan Africa (331 attacks).  
Henry Wilkinson, Head of Intelligence & Analysis at The Risk Advisory Group, which has collaborated with Aon to produce the Terrorism and Political Violence map since 2007, says, “This year’s Aon Terrorism and Political Violence Map shows a rise in political violence and terrorism risks for the first time since 2013.  The threat of terrorism is critical, but sudden political change at the top as well as war can arguably be more catastrophic for business.   These risks are less manageable and less foreseeable and have the potential for cascading political risk ramifications across a region.”
Henry Wilkinson continues: “Businesses need to be flexible and robust in how they anticipate and manage risks in the fluid world that the map depicts.  Adaptiveness and resilience require effective risk management capabilities, which is why leading global businesses rely on Risk Advisory’s intelligence and analysis services to help them grow whilst protecting their people, their assets and their brands.”
Scott Bolton, Director of Crisis Management at Aon Risk Solutions, adds, “The threats highlighted in our map should encourage global business leaders to adopt a more strategic approach to limit the impact of attacks on their people, operations and assets.  Risk managers need help addressing how to leverage risk mitigation, whether through property damage, business interruption or another form of coverage to create a comprehensive terrorism programme.”