Ghana: Build Upon Gains in Insurance Sector - Dr Bawumia Tells Stakeholders

Vice-President Dr Bawumia exchanging pleasantries with Saye Gbalazeh (left), President of WIACA. Looking on is Dr Justice Yaw Ofori (right), Commissioner of Insurance.

The Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has urged stakeholders in the insurance industry to work together to engender trust in the industry to support a financially inclusive society.

He said the country was on a path to recovery from the ravages of COVID-19 as the statistics of 5.4 per cent growth rate for last year shows a performance higher than projected.

Such a performance, Dr Bawumia indicated, should ultimately reflect averagely on all key drivers of the economy.

The Vice-President was speaking at the Annual General Meeting and Education Meeting of the West African Insurance Companies Association (WAICA) last Friday.

He said the insurance industry was certainly a critical driver that could contribute to the country's growth.

Conference

The two-day conference, which attracted delegates from across the sub-region, was on the theme: "The New normal, fact or fiction - How realistic is the practice and spread of insurance in West Africa?"

Dr Bawumia said the quest to help develop the insurance markets of respective member countries was aimed at growing the economies, especially after the downturn of the COVID-19 pandemic that had devastated many economies in the last few years.

He, therefore, commended the association's strategies for improving insurance coverage and penetration in West Africa, saying, "it has been proven globally that there is a strong correlation between the levels of economic development of a country and how developed the insurance sector of the country is."

Insurance benefits

Considering the tremendous benefits of insurance and its contribution to the economy of Ghana, the Vice-President said the government had put in place measures such as the passage of a new Insurance Act last year, which provided a stringent regulatory framework to protect consumers and increase the accessibility of insurance to the Ghanaian populace, particularly to the informal sector and low-income consumers.

"It also provides measures aimed at strengthening the corporate governance practices within the industry and in accordance with international best principles of risk-based supervisory framework," the Vice-President stated.

Dr Bawumia further explained that the government had also embarked on a recapitalisation of the insurance industry to help strengthen the balance sheet of regulated insurance entities.

That, he said, was aimed at enhancing the underwriting capacity of insurance companies to enable them to assume higher insurance risk.

It was also to make resources available for investment in the essential productive areas of the economy such as technology, product development and distribution of appropriate insurance packages.

Motor insurance

As part of the government's digitalisation drive, Dr Bawumia said the NIC had implemented a motor insurance database to curb fake motor insurance in the system.

The Vice-President said the implementation of the motor insurance database had led to the growth of the motor insurance industry from 19 per cent in 2019 to 37 per cent in 2020 and 26 per cent in 2021, while the value of the business undertaken also increased from GH¢566 million in 2017 to GH¢2.3 billion in 2021.

Recapitalisation

The Commissioner of NIC, Dr Justice Y. Ofori, said the ongoing recapitalisation remained one of the NIC's crucial projects.

That, he said, was because of the NIC's belief that its implementation would set the platform for more growth and profitability within the industry.

The NIC, Dr Ofori said, was also working keenly with partner stakeholders to enforce the implementation of the various compulsory insurance policies.

The President of WAICA, who is also the President of the Association of Insurers in Liberia, Saye Gbalazeh, for his part, described Ghana's leadership role in the insurance industry as exemplary, adding that it had enormous growth potential.

Mr Gbalazeh, therefore, called for an enabling investment environment and the political will to boost the sector.

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