NIGERIA, South Africa and other 43 countries are set for the 44th annual African Insurance Organization (AIO) General Assembly/ conference scheduled for Kampala, Uganda next month. The African Insurance Organisation has 326 members comprising 315 members from 45 countries in Africa, 11 associate members from SEVEN overseas countries while an average of 850 participants are expected to attend the annual conference. The Secretary-General of AIO, Ms. Prisca Soares said the annual event with the theme, “Furthering the Financial Inclusion Agenda of African Nations through Insurance”, brings together insurance professionals from all the continents to discuss issues on which insurers need to focus, adding that “this is in line with one of the objectives of the AIO – to develop a healthy insurance sector in Africa. An average of 850 participants attended the last three conferences.” Soares noted that this year’s conference was coming up from May 21 to 24 in Kampala, Uganda, stressing that it has been 18 years since the country hosted the AIO conference. “I believe that many would want to find out how the local insurance industry has grown since then. With the exception of South Africa, followed by Namibia and Mauritius, the insurance penetration in Africa is extremely low, hence the aptness of the theme. Experts drawn from different countries will examine several topics in the light of this theme,” she said.
The AIO DG said the annual conference presents an excellent opportunity for networking and for the various professional associations to meet and discuss matters of mutual interest. Chief executive of Insurance Regulatory Authority of Uganda, Alhaj Kaddunabbi Ibrahim Lubega who is also the chairman, local organizing committee of the 44th AIO said the government of Uganda and the people of that country welcome member countries and all the participants to the 44th AIO Conference and General Assembly to hold in the third week of May, 2017.
Lubega further said that the conference will give the country an opportune time to reflect on what they needed to do to advance to this desired end. “We invite you to come and enjoy Uganda’s stunning scenery, abundant wildlife, birds, and a refreshing climate. Come and get a feel of excellent service from the world’s greatest hospitable people and unique culture.” While speaking at the 43rd Conference and Annual General Assembly of the AIO in Marrakech, Morocco last year, the President of AIO, Lamia Ben Mahmoud said, “Insurance penetration is still a hard nut to crack, the share of insurance premiums as a percentage of GDP, has remained exceptionally low.” “In some countries it only amounts to less than 1%, well below the global emerging market average of 2.7% in 2014, while Africa’s share of the global insurance market is 1.1% for non-life and 1.8% for life but this is a demonstration of the enormous growth potential within the industry African insurance industry, an indicator that the insurance market is still widely untapped.
“In order to insure Africa’s future, we must devise strategies aimed at facing the continent’s numerous challenges today….there is still wide spread ignorance on the benefits of insurance. Added to this list is an acute insufficiency of product differentiation. Every company should continue to act to promote expertise,” she added.