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The West African Insurance Association (WAICA) has recommended to underwriters in the subregion the integration of community-based mutual assistance schemes into insurance so as to reach the underserved populations.
The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer AIICO Insurance Plc, Babatunde Fajemirokun, gave the recommendation in a paper entitled ‘Aligning Insurance Practices in the 21st Century to Serve Public and Private Sectors’ presented at the 2023 WAICA Education Conference in Freetown Sierra Leone, stating that integrating informal risk management practices, into insurance solutions can be beneficial in reaching underserved populations.
He posited that the West African insurance market has been experiencing notable changes in recent years, driven by evolving economic conditions, regulatory reforms and shifting consumer preferences and that understanding the key aspects of this market is essential to aligning insurance practices effectively in the 21st century.
He submitted that aligning insurance practices in West Africa is a multifaceted endeavour that requires collaboration, innovation, and a steadfast commitment to the welfare of the region’s citizens and businesses.
By increasing insurance penetration, enhancing risk management, fostering collaboration between the public and private sectors, and harnessing the power of data, we can pave the way for a more resilient and prosperous West Africa, he said.
Fajemirokun maintained that insurance, as a catalyst for economic stability and growth, has the potential to transform the region, providing protection, peace of mind, and a solid foundation for a brighter future.
According to him, West Africa’s journey toward insurance alignment is a journey toward resilience, prosperity and shared
progress for all.
“Education and awareness campaigns, with the active involvement of educational institutions and industry associations, can promote financial literacy and insurance awareness.
“These efforts lay the foundation for a more informed and engaged consumer base and workforce.
“The role of research and data analytics cannot be overstated. Informed decision-making, risk assessment and the identification of emerging risks and market trends are essential for insurers to remain responsive and adaptable in a rapidly changing landscape,” he posited
The AIICO Insurance boss said education and awareness campaigns, with the active
involvement of educational institutions and industry associations, can promote financial literacy and insurance awareness, adding that these efforts lay the foundation for a more informed and engaged consumer base and workforce.
He submitted that despite the challenges, West Africa offers abundant opportunities for alignment, stressing that leveraging technology, such as insurtech solutions and mobile-based insurance products, can enhance efficiency and extend insurance reach.
Public-private partnerships can facilitate risk mitigation efforts and knowledge-sharing, while customized insurance products, including micro insurance and agricultural insurance, can cater to the specific needs of the population, he posited.
He pointed out that strengthening the regulatory and legal framework is another vital aspect of aligning insurance practices in West Africa.
He submitted that addressing regulatory gaps, encouraging cooperation between public and private sectors, and harmonizing regulations across countries would create a more conducive
environment for insurers to operate effectively.
Commenting on the outcome of the event, President of WAICA Eddie Efekoha, applauded the Secretary General of WAICA Davis Iyasere and his team at WAICA secretariat for the good work, stressing that the first outing was great and called on them to build on the successes recorded.
A participant also said: “I hereby join to applaud the WAICA Council and staff, the LOC, delegates and faculties for a highly eventful and knowledge impactful conference.”
A delegate fro Ghana said: “On behalf of Ghana’s delegation, I sincerely thank WAICA organisers and all others involved for such a wonderful event and hospitality. God bless you all.”