Insurance penetration in Africa was estimated to be below three- percent as at 2019, despite the huge potential for the sector. With a population of one-point-three billion people on the continent, insurance in Africa has been described as woefully below average as compared to other developed economies. It is for this reason that stakeholders have been encouraged to devise more innovative means to attract more subscribers.
This came to the fore at the end of a two-day conference for the West Africa Insurance Companies Association in Accra. Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia in a remark, said insurance plays a critical role in the economy, hence, government’s decision to introduce initiatives such as the new Insurance Act and recapitalization of the sector in Ghana, to make it more vibrant.
He entreated members of WAICA to up their game towards harmonizing insurance among member countries. Mercy Darko reports that the West Africa Insurance Companies Association, WAICA is made up of insurance companies from five English-speaking countries in the Sub-region. They are Ghana, Liberia, The Gambia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. The goal of WAICA includes encouraging the development of the insurance market in each member country on a sound and technical basis. Vice President Bawumia said Ghana has taken steps to turn around the insurance sector through digitalization for economic growth and development.
President of WAICA who doubles as the President of the Association of Insurers in Liberia, Saye Gbalazeh called for strong political will to harmonize insurance in these member countries as achieved in the Francophone countries.
He bemoaned the fact that ”although Africa has a huge population of 1.3 billion people, insurance penetration is very low”.
He urged member countries to adopt innovative strategies to enhance growth in the sector. He mentioned that plans are ongoing to merge data of the DVLA to the National Insurance companies.
The Commissioner of Insurance, Ghana, Justice Ofori said insurance growth is built on trust and this cannot be downplayed if industry players envisage improvement in insurance penetration on the Continent. He called for more collaborative efforts at building the sector for mutual benefits.
The Conference is on the theme; of ”the New Normal: Facts or Fiction, how realistic is the practice and spread of insurance in West Africa”.