By LOVETH AZODO, Lagos
President of the Professional Insurance Ladies Association (PILA), Mrs Joyce Ojemudia has called on the members of the association in other African countries to establish local associations.
This is just as the association honoured Ms Prisca Soares with an award for her outstanding contributions in promoting the affairs of the women in the insurance industry.
Ojumudai made the call at the Womens’ forum of the African Insurance Organisation Conference with theme Women Collaborating For Africa’s Economic Recovery held during the African Insurance Organisation Conference and Annual General Assembly in Lagos where the honour was confered on Soares
In her address, Ojumudai reiterated that PILA Africa is an initiative of PILA Nigeria, which has snowballed into many other African countries establishing similar associations and a lot more at the verge of concluding their modalities.
According to her, the idea is to have an umbrella body of female insurance professionals and practitioners in Africa under which members will glean together to harness the rich potentials God endowed us with to ensure women take their rightful place in our various countries and Africa at large.
“Part of that gleaning comes in the form of professional networking, knowledge sharing and mentorship which is why the Theme for this Workshop; an offshoot of the 47th AIO Conference is very apt,” she said.
“Statistics show that women constitute a significant chunk of the demography of African continent with population of approximately 691m. Out of this population, a critical chunk are professionals, including those operating in the Insurance Industry. From these records, coupled with the renewed acceleration of the number of women taking up careers in the professions, the hope of the continent would only be brighter if the female gender is factor into consideration of for strategic positions in governance and policy making across the continent.”
Presenting the award, a past President of PILA and Founding Chairperson of the planning Committee for the Pan African Movement for women in insurance called Pan African, Dr Tonia Smart said “Ms Soares has been a lot first for us. The first female CEO of NICON. The first female Secretary General AIO. She is very inspiring and supportive member”, she said.
She noted that Soares contributed immensely towards actualizing PILA Africa.
Similarly, the President of PILA, Mrs Joyce Ojemudia stated, ” We decided to honour Soares today because she is our own. And she has given so much to the insurance industry in Nigeria and have served meritorious which is PILA is her primary constituency . We actually acknowledged her strive not only in Nigeria but in Africa and in the international community at large”, she assured.
Soares in 1977 joined National Insurance Corporation of Nigeria (now NICON Insurance) as the first Graduate Trainee and rose through the ranks to become the first female Managing Director in 2000. .Following her retirement from NICON Insurance in 2006, Ms. Soares was appointed Secretary General of the African Insurance Organisation (AIO) in 2007 – the first woman to occupy the position. .Prisca Soares has served the Insurance industry in various capacities, both at home and abroad such as Chairman, Council of Bureaux of ECOWAS Brown Card Insurance Scheme 2004-2005, Executive Committee member of the AIO 2000 – 2006 and Executive Committee member of the Federation of Afro Asian Insurers and Re-insurers (FAIR) 2000 – 2006. She has served on the Boards of Directors of various companies including NAL Bank (now Sterling Bank), Continental Reinsurance Co. Ltd. and Le Meridien Hotel, Abuja and was Chairman, Niger Insurance Plc (first female director), Chairman