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African insurers canvass adoption of IFRS

By Patience Saghana, from Cameroon

DOUALA—Insurance operators from 18 African countries have called for an urgent need for insurance industry in the continent to fully adopt the International Financial Reporting Standards, IFRSs, if the continent must rebound from the global financial crisis.

Leading insurance practitioners for the adoption of IFRSs, was Cameroon Minister of Finance, Mr. Lazare Essimi Menye at the opening ceremony of the two-day African Insurance Organisation, AIO, seminar on Financial Report and Risk Management in Douala, Cameroon yesterday.

IFRSs refers to a series of accounting pronouncements published by the International Accounting Standards Board, IASB, to help compilation of financial statements, throughout the world, produce and present high quality, transparent and comparable financial information

Menye said the current global financial crisis had prompted the urgency for insurance sector in Africa to key in to IFRS, except South Africa and Ghana that had fully adopted the international accounting standard.

He said, “The global financial crisis has prompted the call for uniform financial standard and Africa should not be left out of the race for quality financial reporting”.

The Minister who was represented by Mr Hamadon Samba, Director (Treasury) said, “There is need for financial rules and regulations to be reviewed for insurance sector in Africa in order to avoid the recurrence of the financial crisis which adversely affected the industry in recent years”.

Countries around the world that have adopted the international best practice in accounting, Menye noted, are at advantage over countries that are still not decided whether  to adopt it or not.

He said, “Foreign investors have keen interest in countries that they understand, trust and have confidence in the accounting standards. And those countries that adopted IFRS are positioned for significant change against those countries that are still not decided on IFRS”.

Mr. Israel Kamuzora, AIO president said African insurance industry like the banking sector is an international business and its financial accounting should also reflect that fact.


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