Alhaji Ibrahim Lubega Kaddunabbi, the new president of the African Insurance Organization (AIO) and the Chief Executive Officer of Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA) of Uganda, in this interview talks about various challenges of insurance industry in Africa and the future. Excerpts:
By Favour Nnabugwu
WHAT is the role of AIO to the communities it serves?
AIO works on various initiatives to, among others, strengthen a number of insurance pools to grow African insurance and reinsurance capacity across the continent. It has also worked to develop micro insurance.
The AIO hosts an annual conference and general assembly that creates a platform for members to share global experiences on insurance and re-insurance matters with the goal of furthering the development of the insurance industry. The conference is held on a rotational basis and Uganda is hosting it this year.
Considering this conference is attracting more than 800 participants from Africa, Europe, America and Asia, what key things should we expect from the conference? When is it running, and who is officiating?
What plans do insurance industry have to drive penetration?
To address the low penetration levels and pitiable perception amongst the public, the Authority and its key stakeholders have initiated aggressive consumer education and public awareness campaigns across the country. The campaigns are aimed at increasing public awareness on the need and benefits of insurance.
However, the less than 1 per cent penetration level is an indication that there are still huge investment opportunities in our industry.
I am also seeing the industry regaining its rightful position in the future. Insurance is supposed to be ahead of banking as is in other developed economies.
The future is promising. With the creation of the oil and gas pool syndicate and getting ready for big infrastructural projects, the insurance industry is a good avenue to invest.
In addition, the proposed amendment of the regulatory frameworks – Insurance Act, Motor Third Party – and developing of the National Insurance Policy and the Financial Institutions Act for providing of bancassurance, we believe this is set to stir growth in the insurance industry in the coming years.
How is the sector harnessing ICT to develop and distribute insurance products to its clientele?
In the past few years, the advent of mobile money has brought a new dimension to Uganda’s insurance industry.
As most Ugandans have a mobile phone, buying insurance on a mobile phone is an exciting growth area as it will offer a more affordable way for Ugandans, especially in remote areas, to gain access to insurance products. Beyond the mobile phone, digitalisation as a key driver of business success and encourage players to integrate it into all dimensions of their business and processes.
Where do you see the industry in the next five years?
I am hoping that the public will be confident that insurance is the best risk mitigator, and that there will be no medium to big project that will be uninsured.
I am also hoping that we shall have micro-insurance policies which address the needs of the ordinary person and the contribution of life insurance segment will close to 50 per cent of the gross premium underwritten.