The President, African Insurance Organisation (AIO), Mr Tope Smart, has announced the official incorporation of insurance sector integration into the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA).
Smart, who is also Managing Director, NEM Insurance plc, announced this at the recent 25th African Reinsurance Forum held in Kigali, Rwanda.
In his explanation on the decision of the regional insurance body in this direction, Smart said: “After deep reflection, the AIO Secretariat thought it wise that we incorporate insurance integration into this agreement. This is why during this 25th African Reinsurance Forum, discussions will centre around the theme Insurance Integration In The Context Of The African Continental Free Trade Area.
He said the African Insurance Organisation is happy to return to the birthplace of the African Continental Free Trade Area, Kigali, to examine not only how the insurance sector could best integrate into the AfCFTA, but to also provide a conducive venue for the cream of the African insurance industry to reflect on the way forward.
“Through this event, the AIO further wishes to highlight the contribution of the African insurance industry to the realisation of this lofty idea, whose benefits to the entire African continent cannot be overemphasized, “he said.
He said AfCFTA agreement would create the largest free trade area in the world measured by the number of countries participating.
“The pact connects 1.3 billion people across 55 countries with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) valued at $3.4 trillion according to the African Union. It has the potential to lift 30 million people out of extreme poverty but achieving its full potential will depend on putting in place significant policy reforms and trade facilitation measures, “he said.
He said in concrete terms, the AfCFTA emphasises the reduplication of tariffs and non-tariff barriers, and the facilitation of free movement of people and labor, capital, right of residence, right of establishment and investment.
Smart, at the forum, implored reinsurers to regard the 25th Reinsurance Forum as golden opportunity to examine some of the inherent challenges facing the African insurance industry and provide lasting solutions.
He further urged the reinsurers to leverage the event and do an objective dissection of the event theme, which is Insurance Integration In The Context Of African Continental Free Trade Area.
According to him, one of the instruments of ensuring a healthy, resilient, and robust economy for Africa no doubts remained AfCFTA, as he explained that after deep reflection, the AIO Secretariat thought it wise that it incorporates insurance integration into the agreement.
Smart noted that through the event, the AIO further wished to highlight the contribution of the African insurance industry to the realisation of the lofty idea, whose benefits to the entire African continent cannot be overemphasised.