The Namibian (Windhoek)

13 November 2012

Namibia: Micro-Insurance Under the Loop

NAMIBIANS are being driven “deeper into poverty because of the absence of micro-insurance” and the country needs to take concrete action to fill the gap, Phillip Shiimi, chief executive officer of the Namibia Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority (Namfisa), said yesterday.

Opening a one-week micro-insurance supervisor training programme in Windhoek, Shiimi said “after the training, we will have no excuse not to start engaging industry in preparation for the introduction of micro-insurance in Namibia”.

Micro-insurance is a mechanism to protect poor people against risk in exchange for insurance premium payments tailored to their needs, income and level of risk. It is aimed primarily at the developing the world's low-income workers, especially those in the informal economy who tend to be underserved by mainstream commercial and social insurance schemes.

“More than half of our populations have no access to any form of protection from loss or damage to properties. Families are left destitute when their breadwinners are no more and providers of insurance products and services show no mercy to defaulters who end up losing the little they have,” Shiimi said.

He said micro-insurance is a new concept globally and therefore it was important for Namibia and other regulators in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to understand its dynamics and be able to effectively guide its implementation in the respective countries.

The training programme, co-hosted by the Toronto Centre will focus on the inclusiveness needs of developing markets, examine unique approaches from around the world, and provide a comprehensive review of the International Association of Insurance Supervisors’(IAIS) just published 'Application Paper on Regulation and Supervision supporting Inclusive Insurance Markets'.

This review will enable participants to assess the standing of the countries' and authorities' with the recommended standards of international best practice, and to explore methods to improve participation by their populations in financial markets (inclusiveness).

The Toronto Centre’s programmes provide supervisors with the skills to make difficult decisions quickly, to implement change in their organisations effectively and to manage key stakeholders in their jurisdictions.

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