By Omar Bah
The Ecowas representative in The Gambia, Vabah Gayflor has called on the Gambia and other regional countries to ratify and implement the ECOWAS Brown Card Supplementary Acts/Protocols.
“I was a bit surprised that The Gambia is yet to comply with the provision of the act. But I have no doubt that Gambia will very soon do, because this is a country that is very receptive to ECOWAS and thus your choice of venue is by no means a mistake,” she told delegates attending the ongoing 35 AGM of the Ecowas Brown Card scheme in Banjul.
Speaking further, Madam Gayflor said Ecowas is following with keen interest the developments in the scheme because it considered it an instrument of free movement.
“Over the years we have observed that notable achievements have been made by member countries of the Brown Card Scheme. However, I must say there are some major accidents in the sub-region that are not being compensated, thus the major objective of the scheme is yet to be achieved,” she observed.
The Banjul meeting, she added, will give members the opportunity to assess the development and challenges of the scheme over the years and as well as help them to find solutions.
The Brown Card Scheme functions through a network of 14 (fourteen) National Bureaux disseminated in each of the fourteen countries.
The Gambia’s Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Mamburry Njie reaffirmed that his government will put all the necessary policy framework in place to support the ECOWAS Brown Card Scheme.
“It is an indisputable fact that insurance plays a very important and critical role in the social economic development of nations. It is equally true that insurance awareness and penetration in developed countries is very high and therefore the purchase of insurance has become an accepta
ble norm in those countries. Unfortunately, that is not the case in our part of the world,” he observed.
“The essence of insurance we all know is to pay genuine claims promptly and adequately. It is only when victim’s claimants receive their claims timely that we can wage that trust. As active players of the scheme you need to work on your image and represent the institution with good intention,” he noted.
The Chairman of the council of bureaux, Souleyman Cisse said since October last year his main focus as chairman of the council was on fast tracking the settlement of cross-border claims, effective separation of professional associations of insurers from national bureaux, strict observance and adherence to the various protocol and automatic issuance of the ECOWAS Brown Card in all member states.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the National Bureau, ECOWAS National Brown Card Insurance Scheme, Dawda Sarge said this year’s theme- “35 years of regional integration through insurance-achievements, challenges and prospects”-is indeed appropriate as it allows delegates and participants to critically review the general effects of the scheme and its relative impact on using insurance as a vehicle for regional integration.