By Favour Nnabugwu
As the Africa Insurance Organisation, AIO, celebrate it 50th anniversary next month, the president of the AIO, Mr Tope Smart, wants industry in the member countries to liaise with government to raise insurance penetration in Africa..
Smart said this could be achieved via solutions that improve access to insurance, the reputation of the African insurance industry and insurance awareness in Africa.
Furthermore, governments are increasingly using insurance to achieve public policy objectives and the AIO, again through its advocacy role, shall seek to advance the policy interests of Africa’s insurance industry, to create a conducive and enabling environment for insurance in Africa to thrive.
“The African insurance industry still suffer from very low insurance penetration rates when compared to global rates with an average of less than two per cent if we remove South Africa, this shows the weakness of our industry, and the vast potentials to be exploited”
The 48th AIO Conference will focus on one of the key global issues, Climate Change under the theme ‘Insurance and Climate Change: Harnessing the Opportunities for Growth in Africa’.
The AIO who doubles as the Group Managing Director/ CEO, NEM Insurance Plc recalled that In 2018 Lloyd’s publication, even a 1% increase in insurance penetration will reduce the disaster recovery burden on developing countries by 22 percent”
“We believe it is our mission to improve insurance penetration via solutions that improve access to insurance, the reputation of the African insurance industry and insurance awareness in Africa, he added.
On African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) he said is set to become the world’s largest free trade area in respect of the numbers of participating countries. It is one of the flagship projects of the African Union’s Agenda 2063: “the Africa We Want”.
“We believe that the AfCFTA could play a significant role in improving insurance services through liberalization (eliminating non tariff barriers and refraining from introducing new ones) and integration. The AIO shall advocate for integration of the African insurance industry in the AfCFTA implementation.
Activities to mark this milestone anniversary will hold in Nairobi, Kenya alongside our 48th Conference and Annual General Assembly. The host Kenya market and the AIO Secretariat have been working tooth and nail to make the celebration a memorable one.
However, this can only be achieved through insurance industry support. I wish to appeal to AIO members to come out in their numbers and give their flagship event its merited grandeur.