Gabon last week hosted the 30th anniversary of the Inter-African Conference on Insurance Markets (CIMA), the regulator of the insurance market in 14 French-speaking countries in West and Central Africa.
According to the published report, 30 years after its establishment, the insurance companies in the area are profitable and making a lot of money, while the population is suspicious and does not trust the insurance companies. Insurance penetration in French-speaking Africa is only 2%.
Lawyer and insurance expert, Togo reader Sylvestre Gossou believes that poverty is the real reason for the low penetration of insurance in West and Central Africa: ” You must provide for basic, daily needs. The population does not have enough funds to be able to insure themselves. It is a reality. »
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Another factor that puts people off: slow payouts. But despite these limitations, initiatives are being developed that move the lines. Joseph Makambou, head of Yako Africa, launched Yako insurance in Côte d’Ivoire, which allows a person to save for their funeral. “ To subscribe to Yako, you simply need to be over 12 years old. For example, we can start with 1 000 francs per month. It is a product that is very accessible “, he says.
In Gabon, this type of local insurance is being developed thanks to mobile money: ” We have marketed the Airtel Prévoyance contract, which is a life insurance contract sold with a monthly contribution of 500 Francs per month. It is available for all budgets says Farnal Piebi, director of Sunu Assurance.
In French-speaking Africa, only car insurance is compulsory. Insurance companies are advocating for the creation of other compulsory insurances to strengthen the market.
Insurance Companies “ wear well »
Blaise Abel Ezo’o Engolo, Secretary General of CIMA, deals with the problems of insurance companies and policyholders on a daily basis. Together with RFI, he analyzes the situation on the insurance market in West and Central Africa.
For the insured and for the victims, the insurance companies don’t pay enough, the insurance companies don’t pay on time, the insurance companies have too many small issues that prevent the contracts from being fulfilled, and the victims of accidents are paid quickly. It is at this level that there are often misunderstandings.
Blaise Abel Ezo’o Engolo, Secretary General of CIMA