Punch | 6 December 2021
AIO seeks insurance sector’s integration into AfCFTA
By Nike Popoola
The President of African Insurance Organization, Mr Tope Smart, has said the organisation is examining how the insurance sector can best integrate into the African Continental Free Trade Area.
Smart, who is also the Group Managing Director, New Insurance Plc, was quoted in a statement as saying this during the 25th African Reinsurance Forum in Kigali, Rwanda.
He said, “One of the instruments of ensuring a healthy, resilient, and robust economy for Africa, no doubt, remains the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement.
“After deep reflection, the AIO Secretariat thought it wise that we incorporate insurance integration into this agreement. This is why during this 25th African Reinsurance Forum, discussions will centre around the theme ‘Insurance integration in the context of the African Continental Free Trade Area’.”
He said two months earlier, AIO brought together African insurance professionals at its 47th annual conference in Lagos to reflect on ‘Rebuilding Africa’s economy: An insurance perspective’.
According to him, the AIO’s goal for setting up the reinsurance forum is to encourage the exchange of business through bilateral contacts and discussions, which fall in line with the organisation’s objective of promoting inter-African cooperation and the development of a healthy insurance and reinsurance industry in Africa.
He said since the inception of the Reinsurance Forum, there had been a lot of exchange of business among African industry practitioners, adding that there was still much room for further deepening of the business exchanges.
Smart noted that the AfCFTA would create the largest free trade area in the world measured by the number of countries participating.
He said 25th Reinsurance Forum gave the operators another opportunity to examine some of the inherent challenges facing the African insurance industry.