The Group Managing Director, Continental Reinsurance Plc, Dr. Femi Oyetunji, has called for patronage of African insurers and reinsurers by regional governments in their project execution.
Also, Continental Re’s Board Chairman, Chief AjibolaOgunshola, said his vision was to transform the company to become leader in African Reinsurance market.
Oyetunji, who made this call while presenting the score card of Continental Reinsurance Plc in the past three decades of its existence, said the capacity of African insurers and reinsurers can only be enhanced if local operators are patronised.
He observed that over the years, two big global insurance companies have combined to write more than 30 times businesses written by all African reinsurers and insurers put together.
He said: â€œThe argument in support of that is that local insurers do not have the capacity. However, without giving any of the project business to African carriers, the situation can never change.â€
Oyetunji applauded insurance regulators who are increasingly looking for local markets to take a share in all business, with foreign carriers picking up once local capacity is exhausted.
He pointed out that this message has to be reinforced at government level, simply because too many projects are being agreed at the highest levels without the industry being able to out-forward its arguments.
Noting some of the giant strides of the company in the past three decades of its existence, he said Continental Re,provides support to over 200 insurance companies in Africa with its main offices in Nigeria, Cameroon, Kenya, CÃ´te d’Ivoire, Tunisia and Botswana.
He said it also has a specialist subsidiary â€“ Continental Property and Engineering Risk Services, registered in South Africa.
Oyetunji, also said Africans must find solution to their challenges, simply because some vested interests from outside the continent have no interest in Africans doing things for themselves.
He observed that the answer to many of the African insurance market dilemmas, lies in much greater collaboration.
â€œThe industry should work together to enable it compete with the global players in a meaningful way. We are heavily dependent on external factors, but there are opportunities to take greater control of our destiny.
â€œIf I could wave a magic wand for the next 30 years of business, it would be to have enough capacity that we could write the business we choose, without compromise. With that capacity, I would be able to do the things that the big globals are doing â€“ and not just in terms of underwriting. We would be able to use insurance as a mechanism to lift more people out of poverty. But no-one is going to help us with that â€“ we have to do it by ourselves and to work together to achieve thatâ€, he stressed.