The Minister of Finance, Budget and National planning, Dr. Zainab Ahmed, has urged insurance operators in West Africa to reposition the industry for global competitiveness.
She spoke at the West African Insurance Companies Association educational conference and celebration of its 50th anniversary in Lagos State, Nigeria.
The conference’s theme was “Re-positioning the insurance industry in West Africa for global competitiveness’.
She said, “As an optimist, we are encouraged to believe in a new dawn, leveraging technological innovations, and a positive paradigm shift focused and poised to meet the anticipated surge in the demand and untapped side.
“I therefore urge the delegates here present to deliberate and recommend ways of repositioning the insurance industry in West Africa for global competitiveness.”
The objective behind the African Continental Free Trade Area, she noted, was to accelerate intra-African trade by providing a single market for goods and services, facilitate movement of persons in order to deepen the economic integration and prosperity on the continent as well as boosting Africa’s trading position in the global market by strengthening Africa’s common voice and policy space in global trade negotiations.
Ahmed emphasised the need to the need to establish high-quality insurance database to provide a holistic view of the industry’s operations in the sub-region.
The Vice President, of WAICA, Mr Eddie Efekoha, noted that WAICA is the umbrella association of insurance, reinsurance, and insurance broking companies in West Africa.
Over the years, he said, WAICA had provided the platform in the region to enrich their knowledge of insurance, share business information and network as insurance players in the sub-region.
“It is in furtherance of these noble objectives that we have packaged this conference to address the issue of rating of insurance companies in West Africa to reposition them for global competitiveness in the full realisation that insurance is a global business,” he said.
He said the theme of the conference captured its thoughts and expectations, while the resource persons had been carefully selected to address the issue in a manner that presented all shades and perspectives.