A lot of interesting and positive things have come out of the 43rd AIO Conference and General Assembly. Overall, it seems that things are still looking good for insurance business in Africa, with good growth forecast across the continent, despite terrorism and political turbulence rearing their heads in certain parts of the continent.
The main focus was on the launch of the multimillion-dollar African Insurance Barometer, and as the biggest study of its kind ever undertaken on the African continent, it did not fail to impress. The main finding was that insurance premiums are expected to grow at least as quickly as the continent’s GDP. It is little wonder that Africa is garnering so much interest from insurers the world over; although we must not forget the pressing skill shortage that threatens to limit growth dramatically.
Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty Africa CEO, Delphine Maïdou, and her team released the fourth annual Safety and Shipping Review 2016, which analyses reported shipping losses. Surprisingly, Africa experienced zero acts of piracy in 2015. However, more alarming was the sophistication of global piracy syndicates, and details of how deliberate cyber breaches are used by these networks to not just track ships carrying valuable cargo, but actually going as far as shutting down vessel engines entirely – allowing pirates to board the stricken ship.
Other insights included how, in a bid to save the planet, cleaner fuel might just be having the opposite effect as huge ships traverse the world’s oceans on reduced power and thus experience increased mechanical failures. This is a direct result of the ultra-low sulphur fuel now in mandatory use, with Allianz being the biggest insurer in this sector with premium income in excess of $1 billion.
Finally, in between seminars and workshops, we managed to sit down and chat to Russell Myers, CEO of Mirabilis Engineering Underwriting Managers, on engineering risks in Africa and his thoughts on this year’s conference. Watch the interview here and remember to keep your eyes open for the full story in the next issue of RISKAFRICA Magazine.