Regulators across east Africa are lining up a series of initiatives to grow their respective insurance markets and boost confidence for consumers who buy insurance cover.
The regulators were speaking at a summit of insurance regulators from across east Africa, held by ZEP-RE recently.
“In terms of knowledge impartation, ZEP-RE and ACRE Africa, are willing to work with regulators to help them with whatever they may need to put in place and actualise various initiatives,” stressed Hope Murera, managing director at ZEP-RE.
A number of the regulators shared their latest plans. Among them, Dr Grace Muradzikwa, Commissioner, IPEC Zimbabwe, explained: “We have taken a project approach to capacitation of the insurance commission so as to be able to regulate a very complicated industry. It has been very impactful.”
Increasing capacity was a common theme shared by the regulators, with Kevin Rwasa, of ARCA in Burundi saying: “We have already finalised the terms of reference for the digitalisation of insurance and are looking for partners to help move this project forward.”
Alain Kaninda, chairman, ARCA DRC, agreed on the importance of digitalisation in the industry and said: “We have put in place a digital system for the issuance of certificates electronically. By July the system will be operational and we will then start the pilot phase.”
Meanwhile Dilme Drimas Niyonizeye, of the National Bank of Rwanda, said his country is already enjoying the benefits of growth in the insurance markets. “Insurance penetration in Rwanda has grown from 1.5% in 2016 to 1.9% in 2022. We are targeting a 3% growth in the next five years,” he said.
Finally, Mohammed Satti, director, Insurance Supervisory Authority, Sudan, said his country’s approach was to use taxation to improve the insurance offering. “The Sudanese government supports agriculture insurance by paying 50% of the premium through the ministry of finance. Microinsurance is tax free, to encourage uptake from more companies,” he explained.