Monrovia - A four days international conference geared towards building the technical capacity of insurance companies in West Africa, commenced in Monrovia on Monday.
The conference is being organized by the West Africa Reinsurance Corporation PLC (WAICA).
The conference is held under the theme “Advance Principles, practices of Reinsurance”.
WAICA was established in 2011, as part of efforts to strengthen insurance companies’ capacities, as well as advancing the principles and practices of reinsurance across the continent.
Over 65 participants representing insurance companies in Liberia, Ghana, Benin, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, The Gambia and Tunisia and Morocco are attending the conference.
WAICA Managing Director Abiola Ekundayo urged participants to take full advantage of the training and to network with their colleagues from across the continent.
MD Ekundayo said the conference is an annual event, designed to reawaken reinsurance in West Africa.
According to him, WAICA is a sub-regional company with stakeholders in Liberia, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, and The Gambia.
Key stakeholders, he said comes from West Africa Anglophone countries.
He pointed out that another important objective of conference is to make reinsurance practiced in West Africa.
The conference he added is meant to also integrate insurance companies in the region. Integration he noted is not visible amongst West Africa Anglophone countries due to lack of a single currency.
“There is proper integration amongst Francophone countries due to the CFA, but in the Anglophone countries, this is not the case and to have integration there must a single currency among member states” Managing Director Ekundayo stressed.
He expressed the need for free business environments within stakeholder’s countries, because that is the only way prosperity will be ensured.
He cautioned participants to be disciplined during the conference, because it will lead to success in the corporate world.
Teamwork he stated will lead to the success of WAICA in Africa.
The Reinsurance group boss said that a subsidiary office will be established in Kenya, while operations have begun in Benin.
He called on the participants to be more active in the conference and to interact effectively.
He added that the conference will strengthen insurance companies to deal with loss, while at the same time building their technical capacity.
He went on to say that it is because of insurance, that reinsurance exists; adding that people will be told about reinsurance writing.
For his part Deputy CBL Director for Insurance, Matthew G. Innis said harnessed effort is needed to improve insurance in the country.
He said Central Bank of Liberia supports WAICA programs.
He also disclosed that the CBL has undergone reforms geared towards improving the insurance industry.
Mr. Innis explained that capacity building is important, especially in the area of insurance.
The new capital requirement for insurance companies, he said is intended to impact companies technically.
WAICA Reinsurance Corporation Plc is a public limited liability company incorporated under the laws of Sierra Leone (Companies Act 2009) on the 7th of March 2011.
In the years following the creation of West African Insurance Companies Association (WAICA) in 1973, the founding fathers had the desire to establish a reinsurance organization to help mitigate the effects of the lack of reinsurance capacity within the West African insurance industry.
To fulfill this ambition, the founding fathers considered it prudent to start off by creating a reinsurance pool which hopefully will someday grow into a fully-fledged reinsurance corporation.
To that end, the Executive Committee reconfirmed and endorsed the age old decision to locate the headquarters of WAICA Reinsurance Corporation (WAICA Re) to Freetown, Sierra Leone and to have major operating centres in Accra, Ghana and Lagos, Nigeria.
Apart from the provision of reinsurance capacity, the establishment of WAICA Re is a good example of regional socio-economic integration.
The Corporation has an authorized share capital of US$100 million with US$25 million expected to be paid at the end of the on-going equity capital subscription.
The main objective of the company is to provide reinsurance services to the insurance sector in West Africa and other regions.
In broad terms, the objectives of the company include, to effectively and efficiently manage the business of reinsurance, primarily though not exclusively, across the sub region; to achieve excellence in its management systems and standards by employing best practices through an efficient and responsive management and an empowered and highly motivated work force and to create enhanced value for our shareholders and other stakeholders.