The persistent low rate of insurance penetration in the African continent which has to a turned into a static gap, was prime in the delivery of the African Insurance Organisation President, Mr. Tope Smart at the ongoing 48th Conference and Annual General Assembly of the AIO in Nairobi, Kenya, and with data urged the continent insurance stakeholders to brace up to raise Africa’s place in the lowest rung of penetration ladder.
Smart said African is grappling with an average of about 2%, compared to the global average of around 7%. He proffers reason, “Our industry’s growth keeps getting slowed down by our inability to build substantial capital reserves due to poor saving culture and premium flight… there is still heavy reliance on foreign expertise.”
Still knocking out penetration points he noted, are the plagues of “poor public image and lack of trust,… these and many more are the challenges we face today, and we need to address them if we intend to secure a better future for our industry.”
AIO president said AIO golden jubilee which would be marked by a symposium, to discuss challenges facing the insurance industry in the continent is reinforced by the African Development Bank position that Africa is the most vulnerable to climate change impacts above 1.5 degrees Celsius.
His worry, “despite having contributed the least to global warming and having the lowest emissions, Africa faces exponential collateral damage, posing systemic risks to its economies, infrastructure investments, water and food systems, public health, agriculture and livelihoods, threatening to undo its modest development gains and slip into higher levels of extreme poverty”.
Therefore, he urged the continent’s risk managers, to provide risk management solutions, in the form of risk mitigation and transfer, building resilience and enabling the continent transition to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. He persuaded urged the continent operators to become enablers and not barrier to insurance advancement.
Elated Smart said African Insurance Organisation (AIO) recently signed a revised Headquarters Agreement with the Cameroonian Government in Yaoundé granting the AIO all the merits of an international organisation.