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Chuks Uso Okonta
WAICA Reinsurance Corporation has promised to support the winner of its maiden edition of ‘Annual Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Competition Project and Ambassadors for 2021/2022’ with $100,000, across all its operating countries.
Established in 2011 with the philosophy of strengthening the financial sector of the sub-region by providing greater and viable insurance and reinsurance capacity, the corporation said, the theme of its CSR competition is ‘Practical Solutions to Natural Disasters in West Africa.’
Speaking on this development recently, the Group Managing Director of the corporation, Biola Ekundayo, said, the winner of the competition will become WAICA Re’s goodwill ambassador for a year, having supported the winning project with up to $100,000, while the ambassador will have a cash award of $5000.
There will also be 1st and 2nd runners-up with cash awards of $2000 and $1000 respectively, he stressed.
Besides the competition, he said, WAICA Re has initiated several CSR projects across all its operating countries and has always felt that education is one of the major back bones of the industry and as a result has contributed immensely to education in the subregion as well as the development of the insurance industry.
“We also carry out CSR activities to support the countries where we operate, Sierra Leone – Supporting the insurance industry by establishing a college of Insurance designated in the Insurance Commission’s building. We will furnish and supply the needed textbooks, facilitators, and conducive environment for learning. This will be the first insurance training platform in the country.
Nigeria – Supply fittings such as cooling systems and computers to the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria, including the installations.
Cote D’ Ivoire – Tree planting and garden at the insurance college.
Ghana – Refurbishing the insurance institute’s library and stocking the same with textbooks.
The Gambia – Sponsoring WAII’s digital training platform.
Zimbabwe – Supporting the insurance institute with an operational vehicle.
Tunisia – Tree planting and regreening of selected schools.
Kenya – Providing the insurance institute with insurance textbooks.
Also, in the past we have:• Sponsored five students to WAII each year since 2018.
• Funding WAII’s student hall
• Helping the West African Insurance Industry to achieve hamonisation
• Supporting a number of insurance commissions in the subregion, Ekundayo pointed out.
Furthermore,he stated that WAICA Re has made giant strides because of the inestimable supports it is getting from the reinsurance market across Africa, Middle East and Asia, the corporation, he said, started as a spark in July 2011 in Sierra Leone, West Africa.
“Today, it has grown into a group. We have continued to expand throughout Africa and beyond, with 4 regional offices located in Nigeria, Ghana, Tunisia, and Ivory Coast. Also, we have four subsidiaries: WAICA Re (UK) Ltd, WAICA Re Zimbabwe (Private) Ltd, WAICA Re Capital Ltd (Ghana) and WAICA Re (Kenya) Ltd. In the short 10 years of the WAICA Re’s existence, our gross premium grew from USD35,000 in 2011 to USD103 million in 2020.
To him, “in 2020, inspite of the COVID–19 challenges, we grew by about 50%. The performance makes WAICA Re one of the fastest-growing reinsurance companies within the African region.”
Assessing reinsurance business in African continent, he said: “Reinsurance in Africa is on a steady growth path despite the turbulence created by the COVID-19 pandemic. The top 10 reinsurance players still control a significant share of the market. There have been improvements in local content; however, significant large risk exposures in engineering, oil and gas are still ferried to non-domestic reinsurers.”
While believing there has been a continued shift in building capacity as major players have conferences, academies, training and competitions tailored to skill enhancement and capacity building, he added that, the level of capital needs to be shored up to provide capital adequate enough to bear risks and meet stakeholders’ expectations.
To him, “reinsurance companies should focus more on emerging risks such as: political risks, terrorism, cyber security, artificial intelligence, among others. Finally, African reinsurers need to invest and leverage technology in driving their businesses. Supports for insurtech is the way to go.”