SOUTHERN African insurance companies are pushing for the formation of a regional reinsurance body with at least US$100 million capital, businessdigest has learnt.
Report by Taurai Mangudhla
In an interview this week, SADC Insurance Forum (SIF) board of trustees chairman, Albert Nduna, said insurance players in the region would meet in Botswana early next month for an inaugural workshop where the formation of the SADC reinsurance company would take centre stage.
Nduna, who is the CEO of Zimbabwe’s leading reinsurance company, Zimre Holdings Ltd, said the new organisation would be formed through a collaborative effort with each member contributing to the capital and skills base.
“I think we need a SADC reinsurance company because most of the companies you see in the region have little capital. We target to come up with a Sadc reinsurance company with at least US$100 million as capital,” he said.
“The reinsurance company will be set up by institutions within the Sadc region and possibly we can attract the IFC and others like the World Bank, the African Development Bank and many others in order to have a strong reinsurance company in Sadc.”
Nduna said other regional insurance groupings had already set up their organisations, much to the benefit of their members, while Sadc lagged behind.
“In West Africa, the Anglophone have set up Waica (West African Reinsurance Corporation) and the members are Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Gambia, Sierra Leone. Francophone speaking countries in west Africa also have their grouping while east Africa has its own, but we haven’t come up with anything in Sadc so this is our vision at the moment,” he said.
Nduna said SIF funding was currently coming from membership subscriptions and fundraising events as well as surplus funding for events such as the upcoming workshop.
SIF works closely with the African Insurance Organisation, a non governmental organisation with close to 300 members from 50 countries formed for the promotion of inter-African co-operation and development of a healthy insurance and reinsurance industry in Africa.
Nduna said the upcoming workshop is meant to showcase SIF existence and how to deal with mining risk in the region.
“On specifics now is what sort of risks we should address in our region and the starting point is mining where we are very aggressive. We have everything in Sadc, we have diamonds, gold, platinum so why can’t we make use of what we have to build the insurance business in the region,” he said.