Regional confeRence tackles industRy issues
The Southern African insurance industry held its first regional conference in Gaborone from 15 to 16 August. Opening up new market possibilities, improving communication among industry bodies and the role of the insurance industry in sustainable economic
The conference, hosted by Sisco and the SADC (Southern African Development Community) Secretariat saw delegates from almost every SADC country convene at the Gaborone Sun Hotel in Botswana. Delegates from Switzerland and the United Kingdom were present, too. It was the first of its kind on the African continent. Delegates included representatives of insurance associations, institutes and regulators from each country.
Conference co- ordinator, Tshepiso Mphahlane, says the event provided a platform for insurance bodies and supervisors to interact at regional level. He adds that it provided an opportunity for the SADC’s Committee of Insurance, Security and Non-Banking Financial Authorities (CISNA) to give feedback to the industry regarding the harmonisation of insurance laws of SADC member states.
The move towards making cross- border insurance trade possible through enabling legislation opens up new market opportunities.
Building relationships between bodies
CISNA is part of the Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment Directorate of SADC and reports to the Committee of Ministers of Finance and Investment. CISNA’s vision is to facilitate the development of a harmonised, risk-based regulatory framework for SADC member states. “The move towards making cross-border insurance trade possible through enabling legislation opens up new market opportunities,” said speaker Marcelina !Gaoses, managing director of Mutual & Federal Namibia.
At the conference, it was agreed that dialogue between the insurance industry and SADC should improve. In light of the request, SADC’s Directorate of Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment informed delegates that SADC will establish a business desk which will facilitate communication between SADC committees and the regional insurance industry.
Delegates acknowledged that regional economic integration also calls for improved communication among industry bodies. Delegates welcomed the South African Insurance Association’s (SAIA) plans to establish a communication hub to facilitate information sharing. The conference also requested the SAIA to facilitate the development of a framework for collaboration of insurance associations.
Sustainable insurance limits risk
Chief executive officer of the Insurance Institute of South Africa (IISA) David Harpur’s paper, ‘The Importance of a Common Framework for Insurance Educational Standards’, proposes the development of education standards and products that can be transportable across borders. The paper covered the common approach to continuous professional development and the
It is important for the shortterm industry to offer products and solutions that will promote our industry and not harm our environment and communities.
establishment of common standards of local value with international acceptability.
The conference discussed the role of the insurance industry in sustainable economic development. Programme leader at United Nations’ environmental initiative, Butch Bacani, told delegates that the insurance industry, with world premium volume of $4.5 trillion, was uniquely positioned to tackle environmental, social and governance issues.
“Sustainable insurance is about reducing risk, developing innovative solutions and improving business performance with a view to contributing to environmental, social and economic sustainability,” says Bacani. General manager of strategy and planning at the SAIA, Debbie Donaldson, told delegates that the South African insurance industry has indeed responded to some of these sustainability issues, in particular energy security (home owners’ insurance), food security (agriculture insurance) and community risk management (community risk insurance). “It is important for the shortterm industry to offer products and solutions that will promote our industry and not harm our environment and communities.”
Overall consensus at the conference was that Gaborone hosted a successful event. President of the Insurance Institute of Mauritius, Sansjiv C. Nuckchady commented, saying it was wellorganised and of a high standard.
Above from left: Riana Gous, Insurance Institute of Namibia; Ndjoura Tjozongoro, CEO of National Special Risks Insurance Association; Debbie Donaldson, general manager: Strategy and Planning for the South African Insurance Association.
Molefe Phirinyane, policy analyst, Botswana Institute of Development Policy Analysis.
Thembi Langa, senior programme officer, SADC, addresses delegates.
Marcelina !Gaoses, MD of Mutual & Federal Namibia discussed cross-border insurance.
Tshepiso Mphahlane, conference co- ordinator and CEO of Sisco Corporate Advisors.