Insurance professionals from English speaking West African countries have resolved to embark on an aggressive sensitisation to remedy the poor public perception that plagued the industry.
The insurers made this resolution at the 40th annual general meeting and educational conference of the West African Insurance Companies Association (WAICA) hosted by the Insurance Association of The Gambia, 22 – 24 April 2018 at Kairaba Hotel.
The 2018 meeting, under the theme ‘Promoting public trust in insurance’, was attended by at least 125 delegates from WAICA member countries: Ghana, Nigeria, Liberia, Sierra Leone and The Gambia.
Secretary General of the Insurance Association of The Gambia Molifa Sanneh said the loopholes that were apparently responsible for the low public trust on insurance and low penetration were identified and resolutions were taken to remedy the situation.
“After every WAICA education conference and AGM, we, the national insurance association together with the insurance companies, try as much as possible to implement the resolutions before the next meeting,” he said.
“So at the next conference, we will be asking ourselves the percentage of progress we achieved when it comes to implementation.”
Apart from embarking on massive sensitisation, WAICA 2018 meeting resolved to further push the agenda of introducing insurance as a subject of study in school.
In The Gambia, the IAG had several meetings with the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education and the Department of Curriculum Development to this effect. Similar process was taking place in other member countries such as Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Liberia.
IAG secretary general said: “With the blessing from the government, the subject will be introduced in school so that students can start to learn insurance at the grassroots level. The objective is that even if the students don’t take up career in insurance, but upon their graduation from senior school they would have had sufficient understanding of insurance and its importance.”
Mr Sanneh also said that The Gambia insurance industry is relentless in its commitment to further engage the government on the establishment of an autonomous insurance commission for The Gambia.
Already, Nigeria, Ghana, and Sierra Leone all have national insurance commissions, a special agency charged with the responsibility of regulating and supervising the insurance industry.
“We are going to continue engaging the government and other stakeholders so The Gambia can also be in line with what obtains internationally,” he said.