Ghana Re Insurance Company’s week long Annual International Seminar on Reinsurance- Principles, Practices and Benefits came to a successful end last Friday at Ho in the Volta Region.
This year’s event marked the 14th edition of the seminar and brought together 67 participants different African countries namely; Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Morocco, Nigeria, Kenya, Liberia, Sudan, Sierra Leon, Senegal, Togo, Zambia and Ghana, among others.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, George Yaw Mensah, Managing Director, Ghana Re, said he was overwhelmed with the attendance and pointed out that “it is my desire that we keep in mind the true purpose of our business as insurers, reinsurers and brokers which is the need to continue to work hard to increase the value of the product we sell, as well as keep in mind the ethical and professional values which we – as an industry must adhere to in other to grow.”
He added that with the advent of new technologies and the ambition of many insurance companies to create and deliver tailor-made products to clients coupled with the high expectation of the insuring public, reinsurance programmes have become a key element in meeting this strategic objective.
He, however, said there is a shortage of technical knowledge of the reinsurance functions. He said the right skills are needed to develop the appropriate reinsurance programmes to match companies’ strategic plans.
“Therefore, to capture our full potential as an industry, suitable skilled underwriters with deep understanding of the principles, practice and benefits of reinsurance are a necessity and that is the main objective of this year’s seminar.”
The Managing Director further emphasized that at Ghana Re their seminar topics are carefully selected to ensure that they can build the three ‘Cs’ – Capabilities, Competencies and Capacities of the person who attend our seminars.
“We believe that by actively participating in our seminars and training programmes your skill sets will be raised to enable you gain greater understanding and become more knowledgeable in reinsurance; while contributing to the growth of your company and the insurance industry as a whole. For this reason, we attach greater importance in the selection process of our annual topics,” he noted.
For his part, Kofi Andoh, Deputy Insurance Commissioner indicated that the insurance sectors of the various countries in the region share very similar characteristics, the commonest among them being the very low insurance penetration.
He however explained to the participants that this is gradually changing, adding that there are very good signs of growth on the horizon. “It has been said that, if the 20th century was for Asia, then the 21st century is going to be for Africa.”
Already, a number of African countries are named among the fastest growing economies of the world. For instance, according to the World Economic Forum, five out of 10 of the 10 fastest growing economies of 2019 are in Africa.
“This growth is expected to bring in its wake a more than proportionate growth in the insurance sectors of the various countries. This will encompass significant growth in the quantum of gross premium income, the nature of risk insured and the number and complexity of the product offered by the insurance industry. These will certainly impact our reinsurance market and practices,” Mr. Andoh stressed.
He therefore told participants that, in Ghana, the National Insurance Commission is working with all relevant stakeholders to grow the insurance industry and improve its operational efficiency.
Among other things, the NIC is presently undertaking the following projects in pursuant of that objective:
- Insurance Bill
- Motor Insurance Database
- Agricultural Insurance
- Marine Insurance
He therefore commended the topic for this year’s seminar, which aims to enhance the understanding of participants in the fundamentals of reinsurance, types and practical consideration in developing reinsurance programmes. This, he added, was very appropriate considering the fact that reinsurance is a very important risk management tool for insurance companies.