The West African Insurance Companies Association (WAICA)this week completed a three day general meeting and educational conference at the Bintumani Hotel in Freetown.
The conference which focused on the theme “the relevance and role of WAICA in the economic development and integration of West Africa” attracted insurance companies operating in the West African sub region.
The discussions centered on the progress and challenges in the insurance business since the formation of the Association on 4th May 1973 to date.
The Association’s main objective was to encourage development of the insurance market in each member country on sound and technical basis and also to take reasonable steps aimed at reducing or eliminating economic waste arising from fires, accidents, and other elemental causes.
Speaking at the official opening of the conference, President Ernest Bai Koroma expressed thanks and appreciation to WAICA which enrolled him in 1978 and also recruited him to become the association’s President in 1991, saying “as a product of the insurance industry I am having fond memories” President Koroma reiterated his commitment to the insurance industry with the objective of educating the public with a view to ensuring a correct understanding of the nature of insurance business and its contribution to the development of WAICA countries.
Adding that, the forum provided exchange of ideas on matters of common interest to the industry which gives an opportunity to take an in-depth examination of the association and endeavour to make it more relevant in the 21st century.
The President appealed to the insurance executives to face the challenges of improving the lot of West Africans by creating mergers and mega companies, designing and developing new products to reflect the changing environment, and to help bring the formal sector in to the mainstream financial sector.
He stated “I learnt from the industry that good government has to work with good professional and honest commercial practices for every thing to work well”
The out going President of WAICA Mrs Senor Thomas Managing Director/ CEO International Insurance Company of The Gambia gave a brief over view of their activities during her term of office highlighting the tremendous impact they have made in the business of insurance in the sub region
Mrs Thomas said WAICA is indeed witnessing steady moves towards economic integration which is a key to long term and sustainable economic development, poverty reduction and wealth creation.
She noted that the insurance industry plays a major role in enhancing and facilitating trade among nations and regions, employment creation, poverty reduction as well as resource mobilization for investment.
Responding the President of the Sierra Leone Insurance Association Mrs Alice Onomake expressed thanks and appreciation to all those who contributed to the success of this year’s AGM and educational conference held in Freetown and urged the participants to make good use of the issues discussed for immediate implementation.
The WAICA conference was climaxed by a dinner at the Sierra Light House in Aberdeen with President Koroma and his cabinet minister’s in full attendance, while Solomon Samba Managing Director of Aureol Insurance Company gave the vote of thanks.