Attendees of the inaugural NITheCS-QFW2024. In the top right image, Prof Francesco Petruccione gives Prof Matheus Grasselli the latest issue of Wisaarkhu magazine at the NITheCS colloquium on 8 April 2024.


The NITheCS-QFW2024 workshop, held from 8-10 April 2024, marked a significant milestone in advancing Quantitative Finance (QF) in South Africa. Esteemed scholars, industry professionals and policymakers convened at the Protea Hotel Marriott in Stellenbosch for three days of discussions, presentations, and roundtable sessions. Led by Dr Mesias Alfeus, PI of the NITheCS-QF Research Programme, the event provided a platform for interdisciplinary dialogue and knowledge sharing, propelling South Africa’s QF landscape into new frontiers.

The workshop commenced with a compelling opening session by Dr Alfeus and a comprehensive overview of NITheCS by its interim director, Prof Francesco Petruccione. International guest speaker Prof Matheus Grasselli from McMaster University, Canada, delved into the intersection of finance and climate finance. He emphasised the urgency of addressing climate risk and exploring innovative financial instruments and policy interventions. Prof Grasselli also presented the NITheCS Colloquium later that day, providing a thought-provoking presentation on the role of central banks in financing the transition to a net-zero economy.

Day 2 of the workshop saw speakers delivering concise yet insightful presentations on emerging areas of study within QF. These ranged from stochastic calculus to asset allocation strategies.

The event culminated in a pivotal roundtable discussion facilitated by Prof David Taylor and Prof Helgard Raubenheimer, evaluating the current state of QF in South Africa and the role of funding in driving research initiatives. Key outcomes included the establishment of a management structure for the NITheCS-QFRP, regular meetings for communication and collaboration, and bi-annual workshops for knowledge sharing and networking.

Overall, the NITheCS-QFW2024 workshop served as a catalyst for fostering collaboration, driving innovation, and laying the groundwork for a vibrant and dynamic QF research community in South Africa, poised to tackle the complex challenges and opportunities ahead.