Continental Reinsurance Plc, the largest privately-owned reinsurance company in Africa, has challenged operators on the continent on the need to strategise and retain premium locally through partnership and consolidation.
The Group Managing Director of the company, Dr. Femi Oyetunji, said this during the fourth edition of the firm’s annual African insurance chief executive officers’ summit with the theme, “Prepared for the future: Building our insurance legacy”, in Dakar, Senegal.
He said, “At Continental Re, our mantra is “keep African premiums in Africa”. But we can’t achieve that if we are fragmented.”
According to Oyetunji, Nigeria has 50 insurance companies; Ghana, 46; Kenya, 47; Mozambique, 18; and Liberia with a population of only four million has 20 insurance companies.
He said clients were more interested in protection, and less bothered about where it was coming from, which made them to consider ability first before neighbourliness.
“We must therefore merge our operations, within country and across borders, so we have large insurance and reinsurance companies with balance sheets that are better able to ensure lasting legacy and compete with the biggest and the best in the world,” he said.
During the seminar, Continental Re organised a gala dinner to announce winners of the second edition of the Pan-African Re/insurance Journalism Awards.
Entries were received from French and English speaking journalists from 13 African countries.
Mr. Gareth Stokes of Commercial Risk Africa (South Africa) was awarded the Pan-African Reinsurance Journalist of the Year Award for his article “Botswana in search of growth;” Ms Josiane Kouagheu of Agripreneur d’Afrique (Cameroon) was awarded Best Re/Insurance Industry Feature Article for her story, “In Cameroon, agriculture does not attract insurers;” and Mr. Isaac Khisa of Independent Publications in Uganda was awarded Best Re/Insurance Industry Analysis and Commentary for his article, “Insurance industry tops Shs 700bn.”
Continental Reinsurance initiated the awards in 2016 to recognise and acknowledge the good work of media on the continent; Nike Popoola of Punch Nigeria Limited emerged as the first overall winner at the maiden edition.