On 24 May 2009, Cenfri represented FinMark Trust at the African Insurance Organisation regulators’ seminar held in parallel with the 36th annual African Insurance Organisation Conference in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. It was attended by more than 40 regulators’ representatives from across Africa, including a large contingent from francophone Africa.
For the first year, the regulators’ seminar focused on the need for access to insurance and, hence, the regulation of microinsurance. Cenfri was one of the three presenters on microinsurance regulation, supervision and policy, together with GTZ and the World Bank. Our presentation gave a practical example of the challenges and guidelines emphasised by the other two presenters. This was done by highlighing the South African case study of the development of a microinsurance regulatory regime. The background to the process of regulatory review, that culminated in the 2008 National Treasury Discussion Paper on the Future of Microinsurance Regulation, was discussed, as were the main elements of the proposals and the challenges facing regulators in developing a workable framework.
At the same time, the seminar was used as platform to gauge the interest and understanding of various country regulators and to identify areas for further engagement. It was clear that the understanding of microinsurance and especially the need for specific regulation to facilitate market development, is only now taking root and that much capacity-building and awareness-creation still needs to take place.
This is also true for the African Insurance Organisation more broadly: though the theme for the conferences was “challenges to access to insurance in Africa”, there are few concrete initiatives yet and no broad programme within the organisation for the development of insurance markets.
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