Insurance managers at the ongoing 42nd session of the African Insurance Organisation (AIO) holding in Tunisia are having serious brainstorming session on how to deepen insurance penetration in Africa.
At the opening ceremony ,AIO president Jean -Baptistery Ntukamazina charged insurers in the region to take advantage of projected resources boom and economic growth, industrialisation and infrastructure development to deepen insurance penetration in Africa.
In his exposition of the conference theme, “African Insurance facing mass events”, Ntukamazina predicted that positive changes of African economies will impact on healthcare services, housing and urban infrastructure, protection of assets and increased savings among others.
According to him, “These are exactly the opportunities we have to tap in by proposing new products, increasing insurance penetration, improving distribution techniques, cost-cutting etc.
He said because insurance is risk taking, operators can boost, push and support other businesses by mitigating their risks and hence ameliorate the lives of the region’s population and make Africa show a better face to the world.”
He added that Africa today is synonymous of turbulence and setbacks, civil wars, political violence, terrorist attacks, natural disasters, HIV/AIDS disease, Ebola outbreak and other natural catastrophes.
Noting that despite these problems and risk, insurance contribution today to the world insurance gross premium is only 1.5percent whereas recent projections say that by 2025, 24percent of humanity will be Africans.
He said conflicts in Africa since the end of the cold war have cost the continent $235bn, equivalent to all the foreign aid it has received over the same period.
Furthermore, he noted that Insurers as important actor in Africa’s economy will need to rise up to wars and violent conflicts create inflation, increase debts, reduce investment, cause unemployment along with thousands of innocent victims.
He however said that for different economies to prosper in Africa “we need favorable political environment, security and good governance adding that This is why our political leaders should understand that the prosperity of their different nations is among their first responsibility. “The promising Africa cannot arise without peace, security and good governance,”he said.
Declaring the conference open, Salim Chakcn, tunisia minister of Finance, applauded the turnout of over 1000 delegates that attended the conference, adding that it will contribute immensely to the development of African insurance.
He said that the Tunisia government is poised to develop the insurance sector in the country to contribute to the growth of African risk management, infrastructural development and employment.