20 April 2014, Lagos – The Chief Executive Officer of has said Africa ranks the least in terms insurance penetration with 3.5 per cent among the continents. Similarly, within Africa, Nigeria ranks least with 0.6 per cent among the countries sampled.
Oyetunji disclosed this recently at Continental Reinsurance Plc’s chief executive summit for African leaders held in South Africa.
After a critical review of insurance penetration rate in four major continents it was realised that Africa has the lowest insurance penetration rate of 3.5 per cent.
According to Oyetunji, Asia ranks next to Africa with 5.4 per cent penetration,Europe has 6.8 per cent , while North America has7.4 per cent .Within the African region, he said South Africa ranks first with 15.4 per cent penetration followed by Namibia with 7.7 per cent. and Kenya with 3.4 per cent , Morocco with 3.0 per cent while Nigeria ranks last with 0.6 per cent.
He said the African insurance sector was at an early stage of development, which accounted for the low penetration rates in comparison to the rest of the world.
Oyetunji at the summit attended by 70 delegates from 20 countries with the theme, “Changes and challenges shaping the context of the African insurance landscape in 2015,” said the impact of insurance on the growing African economy was immense as it plays an important economic and social role.
He said as Africa’s largest private reinsurer outside of South Africa, Continental Reinsurance was committed to advancing the insurance sector in Africa.
According to him,Continental Reinsurance was taking the CEOs platform to the next level and moving away from its being an annual event to a regular discussion platform so that such an event like the outbreak of ebola in an African country would have been picked up immediately.
He said insurers have an important role to play on the development and issues affecting the continent.
“Our conversations should not just be when we meet once a year, rather, we will be looking at sustaining the discussions throughout the year that is from one summit to the next, using the social media,” he said.
One of the reasons for the gathering of business leaders, he added, was to consider emerging risks and trends which affect the industry.
He said the insurers need to identify and anticipate such risks, discuss them in detail from the point of view of first of all identifying the risk factors and consequently developing risk mitigating plans.
“As insurers, risk management should be as important to us, as risk taking. We therefore need to refocus our role from being that of primarily risk takers to risk managers,” Oyetunji said.
– This Day