Four key functions
Cassim Hansa, a professional civil engineer and MBA graduate, with over 20 years experience in both the engineering and insurance industries in the USA and South Africa has been appointed the managing director of CPERS. According to Hansa, CPERS will focus on four core focus offerings: underwriting of engineering and construction risks in Africa, risk and advisory services, claims handling services, and training to the insurance companies. He notes that there are significant and critical areas for development and learning in all of these areas – each as important as the other. “Proper engineering knowledge at claims stage, for instance, can be the difference between sustainability and not in the longterm. If you’re assessing a major flood loss, for example, which has washed away a section of road infrastructure – if you’re out on your measurement of the damaged section of road by even a few kilometres, the unnecessary cost implications could be significant.” “Insurance professionals in Africa are hungry for training and unless we step in and fill the urgent need for knowledge transfer in the insurance sector, Africa is at risk of losing the opportunity to foreign firms by not developing its own capabilities,” says Hansa, adding that he has been amazed already at the level of interest from youth in Lagos and Addis Ababa where training has begun.
“There is huge hunger for training in these specialist classes and great recognition of the opportunity they present. This is enormously exciting for me.” CPERS is committed to facilitating skills transfer and training to develop a stronger specialist engineering-insurance sector on the continent by delivering training sessions in fast- developing regions in Africa. In 2015, CPERS will conduct training in Gaborone, Harare, Lagos, Lusaka, Maputo and Nairobi. CPERS is registered in South Africa and will also do some work in South Africa through underwriting management agencies in the country. Over 200 delegates have already attended training sessions delivered by Continental Reinsurance on engineering and property risk services in 2014, in Addis Ababa, Harare and Lagos.