African insurers agree to leverage technology for integration of rural people

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Chuks Udo Okonta

Managers and executives of insurance, reinsurance firms auspices of the African Insurance Organisation (AIO) as well as relevant stakeholders have agreed to massively deploy technology to insure the uninsured in the grassroots across Africa.

Industry operators after due consultations with other stakeholders reached a resolution and released a 10-point communique, at the end of the recent 47th conference and General Assembly of the Pan-African insurance body, which held in Lagos.

The communique, according to the body, will serve as action plan template, promising to ensure that most uninsured Africans would be under insurance coverage in the next few years.

The communique urged operators across the continent to drive insurance growth and deepen penetration through deployment of technology with focus on artificial intelligence and development of insurance products that cover developmental action of government.

According to these stakeholders, “at the 47th African Insurance Organisation Conference, held on 4th to 8th September, 2021, the participants agreed to: collaborate and work with respective governments to ensure that insurance companies can contribute directly and impactfully to the economy.

Cross section of participants at the 2021 AIO conference in Lagos.

“Design insurance products that effectively cover the developmental actions of Government and deepen insurance penetration at all levels.

“Invest in Information Technology with focus on artificial intelligence, disruptive, while partnering with FinTech organisations.”

Stating that cross-border collaborations will improve insurance penetration and growth while proactively and collectively embracing AfCFTA, they agreed to, “invest in quality education for both the practitioners and the whole populace especially in financial literacy; and set up of schools and scholarships amongst others.

“Invest in sustainable projects and financing of facilities developments; Move to risk-based supervision in line with current global best practices; Create a thriving business enabling environment for all practitioners.”

The communique called for the encouragement of active participation of all female insurance practitioners in the activity of PILA Africa to facilitate effective networking and growth of the African insurance industry.

Earlier, the former president of AIO, Mrs Delphine Traore, who is also the chief operations officer of Alliance Africa, said, assured that, innovation in the insurance sector would help in complementing government efforts in economic growth and development.

Similarly, the chairman, Local Organising Committee(LOC), Mrs. Ebelechukwu Nwachukwu, stated that, the theme of the conference is apt, coming at a time when the Coronavirus pandemic has severely impacted economic activities all over the globe.

“Several conferences across different markets have focused on the impact of COVID-19 on the industry from various perspectives. This theme paper will attempt to look at broader issues of how.

Believing that insurance can contribute to and benefit from the efforts at rebuilding the African economy post-Covid. It is our hope and indeed expectation that participants will find the presentations insightful, enriching and of significant value,” Nwachukwu, who is also the managing director/CEO of NSIA Insurance Limited pointed out.

Similarly, the new president, AIO, Mr. Tope Smart, unveiled a five-point agenda that will serve as a guide during his one-year tenure.

In his acceptance speech, he said, said his administration will be anchored on five key areas namely: increased awareness; adoption of digitalisation; collaboration with other markets; collaboration with government and regulators and building customers trust.

Noting that the insurance industry in Africa has underperformed compared to other sectors such as banking, telecommunication, and promised to reverse the trend, he expressed disappointment over the low performance of the African insurance market. Aside from South Africa, Morocco, Kenya, Egypt, Malawi, Zambia and Ghana, he said, no other African country has been able to grow penetration to one per cent, promising that, things will change positively during his tenure.

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