Mbale — The Insurance Institute of Uganda (IIU) is taking steps into attracting more people to take up different insurance products, with more focus placed on promoting awareness among people living in the countryside.
The Institute's awareness drive also targets to spread training opportunities of human resource through strengthening operations in the entity's upcountry teaching centres to have more students taking up insurance related courses.
IIU chairman governing council Ronald Zake said the Institute has started the process of taking services near the people, engaging them face-to-face, telling them the relevancy of insurance in sustaining lives and businesses.
"The upcountry awareness creation drives we are undertaking will help us have more people understand, appreciate and embrace insurance, a move we believe will serve as a key pillar in boosting the sector penetration, this will be complemented with our effort in developing human capital and bolster local talent in different regions of the country," he said. Mr Zake was addressing the media in Mbale last week during the IIU membership interaction day dinner for eastern Uganda, a function attended by IIU members, students and the general public to devise means of boosting the industry performance.
Consequently, IIU announced a partnership with Makerere University Business School (MUBS), where the university will take up the responsibility of continuously develop insurance course modules, teaching and providing space for the Institute's students.
Mr Zake said the centre hosted by MUBS eastern branch serves students wishing to offer IIU's Certificate in Insurance and Certificate of Proficiency and the new Diploma in Insurance. The beneficiaries are from; Tororo, Jinja, Soroti, Mbale, Sironko and Busia districts.
Mr Ayub Masaba, a director at MUBS, said the partnership is a great opportunity for the university to boost its relevancy in public through developing career in insurance and will enable the institution engage in the general public awareness drive.
"The running partnership is an opportunity for us to contribute to the growth of the insurance industry in terms of human capital development and an avenue for us to embrace opportunities to explore broader knowledge about the insurance financial sub- sector," he said.
According to statistics, Uganda's insurance industry is worth Shs500b, with a penetration rate of just 0.86 per cent, far below the African continent's average rate of 3.5 per cent. Kenya, on the other commands a penetration of 3.1 per cent, while Rwanda stands at about 3 per cent. Increased public awareness is looked at as the major engagement in boosting penetration in Uganda.