Kampala, Uganda, March 5, 2009—IFC
will work with partners such as the World Bank, donors, governments, and
the insurance industry to create a more favorable environment for insurance
companies to offer products and services to poor Africans who previously
have not had access. IFC is a member of the World Bank Group.
IFC’s Global Insurance Program Advisory
Services is organizing a three-day regional workshop in Kampala from Monday
on expanding access to insurance for the poor in Eastern and Southern Africa.
The seminar, which will be attended by insurance companies operating in
the region, will focus on developing more targeted products, alternative
and more cost-effective distribution channels, and improved service delivery
models to reach more Africans.
“The poor in Africa are exposed to
many risks, from the death of breadwinners to ill health, extreme weather,
and the potential loss of property,” said Fatou Assah, IFC Senior Financial
Sector Specialist.” “Extending financial services such as insurance to
people and places where they are most needed is a crucial part of IFC’s
strategy in Africa.”
Participants in the workshop will hear
from international insurance experts on the technical aspects of providing
insurance to the poor, discuss interactive case studies, and apply new
concepts to problems they encounter in their daily work.
African markets show some of the world’s
lowest levels of insurance penetration, creating an ideal opportunity for
insurers to develop products and services to better meet the market’s
needs. Insurance companies site a need for more technical capacity, challenges
with product development, difficulties with delivery channels, and regulatory
hurdles as among the main challenges to expanding insurance coverage in
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group creates opportunity for people to
escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic
growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development,
mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation
services to businesses and governments. Our new investments in the insurance
sector totaled 400 million while overall commitments totaled $16.2 billion
in fiscal 2008. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.