Tope Smart, the President, African Insurance Organisation, has urged underwriters in the continent to boost penetration through advocacy.
According to a statement, he spoke ahead of the AIO’s 48th conference and annual general assembly, together with its 50th anniversary celebration which would be held in Nairobi, Kenya.
“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.
“As part of measures to address this challenge, I appeal to different markets to scale up its advocacy initiative by collaborating with various organs of government to advance the course of Insurance as this will lead to increased penetration.”
He conveyed his best wishes and those of the entire management of the AIO to the insurance industries as the continent slowly recovered from the numerous restrictions imposed on it by the COVID-19 pandemic.
He noted that the African insurance industry still suffered from very low insurance penetration rates when compared to global levels, with an average of less than two per cent outside of South Africa.
This, he said, showed the weaknesses of the industry but also the vast potential yet to be exploited.
“According to a 2018 Lloyd’s publication, even a one per cent increase in insurance penetration will reduce the disaster recovery burden on developing countries by 22 percent,” he said.
Smart said the African Continental Free Trade Area was set to become the world’s largest free trade area in respect of the number of participating countries.
“We believe that the AfCFTA could play a significant role in improving insurance services through liberalisation (eliminating nontariff barriers and refraining from introducing new ones) and integration.
“The AIO shall advocate for integration of the African insurance industry in the AfCFTA implementation.
"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.”
He said the 48th AIO conference would focus on one of the key global issues, climate change, under the theme ‘Insurance and climate change: Harnessing the opportunities for growth in Africa’.
Smart urged the insurers to look at ways of making the organisation more useful to its members, the African insurance industry, and the entire continent.
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