West Africa Insurance Institute (WAII) and the South African University have reached an agreement to run a five-year Masterâ€™s programme in WAII, Gambia which will in July culminate into signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the duo as Nigeria, Ghana and others get award.
Dr Mike Ikupolati, WAII Director-General who disclosed this to Financial Vanguard in an interview said that the MOU would be signed on July 16, 2010, on the very day of the instituteâ€™s graduation ceremony and foundation-laying for the schoolâ€™s Birmingham model structure building which would be laid by the President of the Gambia, Yahya AJJ Jammeh.
According to him, â€œWe have students from all the five West African countries- Nigeria, Ghana, Gambia, Liberia and Sierra-Leone numbering about 32. And they are rounding off for the session which will end on July 16, 2010â€
Series of activities are lined up for that day which include the signing of MOU with South Africa University and the laying of foundation of an ultra modern building which is taking after the Birmingham University model structure.â€
â€œWAII will on that day too award Professor Emeritus, Fellowship and merit awards to deserving recipients from Nigeria, Gambia, Ghana and two others.â€
Meanwhile, the WAII boss while addressing over 600 insurance practitioners on the topic: Ethics and Good Governance, Imperative for African Insurance Market, harped on the need for insurance operators in Africa to imbibe the culture of ethics at all times.
He advised insurance companies in Africa to take the issues of code of ethics very seriously if the sector must move forward.
He said, â€œThe insurance industry in Africa must have a formally adopted written code of ethics, which all its practitioners are familiar with and must adhere toâ€.
He advised industries on the need to begin to ensure and implement high quality of transparency and accountability in their corporate decision-making processes.
Ikupolati said self regulation began with good governance practices, adding that insurers must promote self regulation of insurance practices in Africa.
According to him, â€œInsurance industries in Africa at the national levels must adopt and implement policies and procedures to ensure that all conflicts of interest among them are appropriately managed through disclosure and alternative dispute resolution means rather than recourse to media fight and formal legal tussles.â€
The WAII D-G said that the regulatory bodies must take the issue of unethical practices seriously and adopt an effective system of identifying violators of ethical and best practices standards during offsite and onsite investigations.
He said the need for insurance supervisors, regulators and enforcement authorities in Africa to have the authority, integrity and resources to fulfill their duties in a professional and objective manner while ensuring that their rulings on unethical practices were timely, transparent and fully explained.
Every insurance institution, he added, must have an effective board of directors that would be responsible for reviewing and approving the organisationâ€˜s mission and strategic direction, key financial transaction, compensation practices, fiscal and governance policies.
â€œThe insurance industry in Africa must encourage a system of capacity building and staff development programme. There is an urgent need for the harmonisation of insurance education and training in Africa and ensuring that business ethics and corporate governance form part of insurance education programmes in Africaâ€.