Honourable Mbella Mbella,Minister of External Affairs,Republic of Cameroun with AIO President, Tope Smart
Insurance professionals across the continent of Africa would be converging in Nairobi, Kenya, during the celebration of African Insurance Organization, AIO, 50th anniversary.
The anniversary billed to hold on the 27th June 2022, has the theme AIO AT 50: A CALL FOR AFRICAN INSURANCE RENAISSANCE.
A symposium which will form part of the event will feature seasoned African insurance professionals who will examine the state of insurance in Africa in the past fifty years and make predictions on how to better the industry in our continent in future.
President of the Organization, Tope Smart, who announced this in Cameroon, at the occasion of the revision of the headquarters agreement between AIO and government of Cameroon, said discussants at the symposium would address serious issues like Africa’s low insurance penetration rate, bringing insurance services closer to the populations and at more affordable costs lifting insurance to the level of a solution to problems rather than a counter for the sale of insurance products only.
Speaking on the revision of the headquarters agreement, Smart, stated that by revising the agreement, President of Cameroon, Paul Biya has once again proven that he is a real architect of inter African cooperation as enshrined in the missions of the African Insurance Organisation.
“We are particularly touched by the several advantages the government of the Republic of Cameroon is granting our organisation in this agreement. We can cite:
The holding of funds in local currency or hold foreign currency bank accounts, the possibility to transfer AIO funds or currencies or convert any currencies held by us into any currency, tax exemptions, immunity and protection of our expatriate staff, advantages to local staff etc.” he said.
The AIO, was established in 1972, and serves as an international organisation recognized by 48 African governments including the Government of the Republic of Cameroon where its headquarters is located.
The AIO has 446 members from 48 countries in Africa and 14 associate international members from 9 countries. Membership is open to actors from the insurance industry, regulatory/supervisory authorities, insurance training centres, national and regional insurance associations and insurtech companies.
The main objectives of AIO are the development of a healthy insurance and reinsurance industry and the promotion of inter-African co-operation.
The AIO holds its events notably, the Conference and Annual General Assembly and the Reinsurance Forum on a rotatory basis in a selected African country.
This year, Kenya is hosting the 48th Conference and 50th anniversary celebration of the AIO at the Edge Convention Centre, College of Insurance Mombasa Road, Nairobi, Kenya under the theme: Insurance and Climate Change: Harnessing the Opportunities for Growth in Africa.
According to Smart, noted that in its 50 years of existence, the headquarters of the AIO has been in Cameroon for 38 years and the country was there at the very birth of the AIO in 1972, through one of its most emblematic insurance professionals at the time, Mr. Ephrem Marie-Mba, listed today among the founding fathers of the African Insurance Organisation.
He served as the third President of the AIO in 1974 when Cameroon hosted the third AIO Conference.
“On the 25th February 2000, the Government of the Republic of Cameroon graciously offered the AIO a building to harbour its General Secretariat at Avenue de Gaulle in Bonanjo, Douala. To this, we wish to recognise the efforts of another Cameroonian insurance professional, Mr. Paul Tsala, who also served as AIO President in 1988.
“In 38 years therefore, the AIO has operated very peacefully from Cameroon. I therefore wish to use this opportunity to recognize the hospitality of the Government and people of Cameroon.” Smart recalled.