Ghana prepares to host global conference on micro-insurance

International Conference Inclusive Insurance

Ghana has formally launched its preparations to host the 19th edition of the International Conference on Inclusive Insurance (ICII), which will take place at the plush Movenpick Hotel in Accra from 23rd to 26th of October this year, preceded by pre-conference workshops on the 22nd and followed on the 27th by a field trip to a community benefitting from inclusive insurance.

The ICII is a global conference that seeks to provide a common platform for a very wide group of stakeholders – such as insurance companies, academicians, researchers, policy-makers, regulators, development partners and technology firms among others – for the sharing of ideas and knowledge on sustainable, inclusive insurance. The annual conference seeks to find effective ways to close the insurance gap for the vulnerable that are sustainable for the providers and beneficial to the users.

The hosting of the ICII rotates between Africa, Asia and Latin America and the Caribbeans. The inaugural edition was held in 2005, and Africa hosted it for the first time the following year in South Africa. The most recent time Africa hosted it was in 2018, in Zambia.

Ghana’s hosting of this year’s edition is by the National Insurance Commission (NIC), the Ghana Insurers Association (GIA), and the Insurance Brokers Association of Ghana (IBAG) in collaboration with the Munich Re Foundation and the Micro Insurance Network. They are being supported by GIZ – the German international development assistance agency, which has traditionally been a leading supporter of Ghana’s insurance industry’s development as well as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Bot CIMA and FANAF are also expected to join up as partners toward the hosting of the event to boost francophone participation at the event.

The selection of Ghana to host the 2023 edition of the ICII is apt, reflecting the country’s position at the forefront of inclusive insurance efforts since 2009. With technical and financial assistance from GIZ, Ghana’s micro-insurance regulations were published in 2011; and its mobile insurance regulations, the very first in the world, were issued in 2017. The establishment of a conducive regulatory framework has been accompanied by consumer education and capacity-building of insurance companies; and available research reveals that consequently, the number of lives impacted by insurance in Ghana has grown exponentially and currently stands at 44.6 percent, up from 29 percent as at 2015.

Although insurance penetration with regards to life and non-life (general) insurance in Ghana remains very low at just over 15 of the population, if pensions and health insurance subscribers are added on, the penetration rate rises to about 3 percent.

Asserts Michael Andoh, Ghana’s acting Insurance Commissioner: “The combined effect of COVID-19, climate change and other geo-political events seem to have a disproportionately heavier negative impact on the vulnerable. Therefore, now, more than ever before, there is the urgent need for concerted efforts by all stakeholders to find sustainable safety nets that enable the vulnerable and the bottom of the pyramid to break out of poverty and have decent, safe lives”.

Points out GIA’s President Seth Aklasi: “One important characteristic of inclusive insurance is that it must be aimed at achieving profitability or at least sustainability. Perhaps, this makes the world sceptical as to whether it is a good business case to invest in products aimed at low-income populations. However, there is enough evidence that the low-income populations and the informal sector are worth considering”.

Indeed, according to the 2022 Landscape of Micro-Insurance – a report published by the Micro-Insurance network, it is estimated that in 2021 the total market for inclusive insurance in terms of premiums from countries in Africa, Asia, Latin Africa and Cariibbeans (34 countries assessed from those regions with an estimated cumulative population of 223 million people) added up to US$61.2billion.

Asserts Aklasi: “This is significant by all standards, and it only goes to reiterate the notion that with the right approach in terms of products, underwriting and distribution, the informal sector  and the low-income population can be viable”.

Shaibu Ali, President of IBAG expects the upcoming conference to challenge the insurance industry to rethink the concept of insurance and its fundamental role in society, give insights into the opportunities and potentials in the Ghanaian market, and serve as a starting point for capacity-building for IBAG members. He also expects it to address topics relevant to insurance brokers.

Indeed, topics to be addressed include: digital solutions for inclusive insurance; consumer education; enabling regulatory environment and gender-sensitive inclusive insurance; and coping with climate change and pandemic risks.

Enthuses Dr. Angela Lusigi, the Resident Representative of UNDP in Ghana: “The conference marks a pivotal moment in our collective efforts to foster financial resilience and safeguard the well-being of vulnerable communities. We will learn from one another’s experiences, share best practices and identify concrete actions to ensure that insurance becomes a transformative force for positive change”.



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