The West African Insurance Institute (WAII) recently held a graduation ceremony for junior and middle level insurance managers, as well as upcoming professionals in marketing and law. The event was at the WAII campus in Kotu.
The graduates have sucessfully completed their respective fields of studies which include: one year diploma in insurance, insurance foundation certificate, diploma in law, diploma in marketing and an advanced diploma in marketing.
A total of about 200 candidates graduated after being found worthy both in character and in learning. It was a combined graduation ceremony for the 35th and 36th batches, as last year’s batch could not hold their graduation as a result of the travel ban that was imposed in West Africa due to Ebola outbreak in some countries.
The event attracted government officials and insurance and financial sector bigwigs from Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia and The Gambia.
The Chairman of WAII Governing Council, Abdou Kolley, who is also The Gambia’s Minister of Finance, said the graduating students would no doubt impact positively on the productivity level of the insurance industry and related fields in the economies of their various countries.
Minister Kolley assured the graduating classes of the institute’s commitment to continue to excel and bloom anywhere they are planted, noting that WAII’s contribution to the development in their various member countries does not only end with training of the needed insurance professionals, but also forges strong bonds of friendship among member countries.
“WAII’s commitment to this course will continue unabated and shall increase its intensity and tempo in the coming years,” he said.
“WAII is committed to contributing to the manpower development of the sub-region in particular and in Africa as a whole.”
Minister Kolley pointed out that governments and organisations within the sub-region are yet to fully tap from the potentials and benefits of the institute’s services.
He therefore called on them to take maximum advantage of the qualitative courses offered and enroll their personnel at the institute.
The Director General of WAII, Frederick Bowen-John, said the graduates would leave the institute with their heads held high.
“We are proud of your achievements and the knowledge you have gained which we hope will be put into practice. The institute has supported you throughout your learning journey and I do hope you have been well equipped, not only theoretically but practically in your subjects,” said Mr Bowen-John, himself an alumnus and the valedictorian of WAII in 1993.
The graduâtes, he went on, have gained softer skills which are essential to help them prosper in a competitive environment, noting that these skills will help build working relationships, lateral thinking, problem-solving, team work, emotional intelligence and networking.
“I challenge you to take what you have learnt to go out from this place with passion,” he further told the graduates. “Act as ambassadors of our institute and make a difference among people, organisations, your country and the environment.”
Aside from its regular training programmes, he went on, WAII conducts training seminars in collaboration with specialist consultant firms.
“In February 2015, the institute signed a strategic partnership with FJP Consultants, a management consultancy firm in The Gambia with branches in Sierra Leone, Liberia, UK and USA.”
Mr Bowen-John said WAII together with FJP organised a training workshop in Strategic Risk Management in February 2015, and an international training programme in Corporate and Sectoral Governance in October 2015.
“Also in August 2015, WAII organised the first ever Brokers’ Forum in collaboration with the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers, attracting participants from the 5-member countries. The forum is to become an annual feature in the WAII calendar.”
DG Bowen-John said the Chartered Insurance Institute of London (CII) in September 2015 agreed to reinstate WAII’s recognition of prior learning awards. “It means that WAII graduates from 2016 will be eligible for exemptions in the CII London Advance Diploma level. The reinstatement of our accreditation in 2016 ushers in a new format for the one-year diplôma, replacing the 37-year-old format currently in place.”
At the graduation ceremony of the latest graduates of WAII, the institute’s Governing Council rewarded some of its eminent past and present members as Fellows of the West African Insurance Institute.