At least 1000 insurance professionals from all over the world are meeting in Uganda to share knowledge on how they can create opportunities for growth of the industry.
The conference which also seeks to discuss challenges facing insurers was opened by H.E Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi, treat the vice president of Uganda at Speke Resort Munyonyo.
Insurance in Africa, information pills according to research, “has suffered from a host of challenges largely caused by shortage of skilled and experienced insurance professionals”.
Experts also argue that lack of awareness of the benefits of insurance products, excessive competition and insufficient product differentiation contribute to the problems.
Running under the theme “Furthering the financial inclusion agenda of African nations through insurance”, the 44th African Insurance Organization (AIO) conference ends on May 24th.
Alhaj Kaddunabbi Ibrahim Lubega, the vice president of AIO, while addressing the audience said that the conference will provide a platform for the entire African insurance industry to discuss the industry challenges and the opportunities available for growth.
“The conference therefore is aimed at facilitating and sharing of knowledge and learning the best practices in deepening financial inclusion,” Kaddunabbi said.
“It therefore goes without saying that the meeting is timely and will enhance professionalism at the local as well as continental and international levels,” he added
Kaddunabbi doubles as the chief executive officer Insurance Regulatory Authority of Uganda.
Findings by Insurance Barometer show that the projected GDP growth rates of 4.0 per cent and 4.7 per cent for 2016 and 2017 respectively, near-term economic prospects for Sub-Saharan Africa remain very favorable, although there are a number of significant risks.
Large fiscal and current account deficits, experts say, leave some countries vulnerable to a potential reduction in external financing.
In Uganda however, Kaddunabbi notes that “Our (Uganda) penetration is still low at less than 1%, implying that one can have very good return on investment”.
He also argues that the industry is regaining its rightful position in the future.
“Insurance is supposed to be ahead of banking as is the case in developed economies and that is our ambition.”
He adds that: “Insurance should be a source of income for many of the people via job creation. We have in the last five years created about 1000 jobs and we still plan to do better.”
The conference will also tackle issues to do with achieving sustainable agriculture insurance and developing effective consumer education approaches.
Other topics are accelerating financial inclusion through regulation and driving insurance penetration by developing affordable and need-based products.
This will be the 2nd time that Uganda is hosting this continental conference, the first time being in 1998.