Plenty of opportunities still exist in African insurance markets, despite tough times, says Zep ReKinshasa, DRC. Credit: Shutterstock/Issa Kashala

Plenty of opportunities still exist in African insurance markets, despite tough times, says Zep Re

Despite some tough times lately, certain markets are still growing well, as Zep-Re Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) country manager, Pierre Toyum, explains as he answers some questions from Africa Ahead

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Q: You come from what have been growing insurance markets. Is that growth still happening? And what is driving it?

Absolutely right, the growth is still happening.  Before 2019, the market premium was below US$100m. In 2019, it rose to US$101,789,772.09; in 2020 US$137,851,981.70; and in 2021 to US$208,615,001.07.

In terms of what is driving the growth in the DRC market, first is the fact of it being one of the newest liberalised insurance markets in Africa and for this reason we all expect it grow. Second is the fact that government through ARCA is pushing insurance to becoming contributory to the economy and making a good number of insurance products mandatory. The presence of new players in the market restored trust among the population as they have options to choose from, which was not the case five years ago.

Capacity building is also one of the drivers because local staff is growing in technical competence. As you know, training and capacity development are one of the key deliverables under our establishment charter. To this end, we have plenty of training on marine insurance, fire, life, reinsurance, underwriting etc.

Q: What are the main lines of business in your respective countries?

Well, the DRC market is predominantly geared by fire and allied perils insurance which contributes 32.70% or US$68,225,542.86; motor third-party liability 24.04% or US$50,148271.29; and bonds 12.91% or US$26,936,047.05. We envision a growing market as insurance penetration is also growing.

Q: Are you facing any new regulations – if so what? And if not, are you seeing any increase in enforcement of the existing rules?

Truly speaking, I would not say that we are facing new regulations, because the simple fact that the market is new, that makes rules and regulations to be new to players whose previous markets had not similar rules as what are used in the market. But on our side no new rules we are facing.

At this juncture, what we are expecting from the regulatory body is the enforcement of existing rules, because figures that are published in the market report are way below the market potential, and in order to operate at full capacity, existing rules must be enforced before even enacting any others, besides, intensive work to raise awareness, trust and spread insurance across the country should be done since that trust had been trodden upon all those years of monopoly.

Q: Are you seeing any changes in the primary market? More insurers entering the market etc.

Yes, we expect changes for this new market.

Awareness campaigns across the national territories will improve the insurance consumption and insurance penetration rate.

We expect technical knowledge growth of the workforce and new players because the market is still attractive. In fact, DRC is a large country with large opportunities and there is a need for a lot of capacity. It is a land of opportunities for brokers, insurers and reinsurers.

As the regulatory body of DRC aims at being one of the modern regulatory bodies in Africa, we expect new ways of rules enforcement for the industry to make a positive impact to the economy.


  • comment-avatar

    Does this means that for investors it is the right time to invest in the insurance domain in DRC especially if the rules are enforced?

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