Continued export of unprocessed raw materials from African nations,undeveloped serivces sector which resulted in under-utilised huge potentials in tourism, transport, banking, underdeveloped agriculture, lack of democracy, lack of ideology which has created criminal states across African region and lack of industrialisation are among major factors inhibiting growth and development of African economy.
The Ugandan President, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, who highlighted these in Kampala,while declaring open the on going African insurance Organsation’s Conference in Kampala, Uganda, also pointed out other negative factors working against the economic progress of the region as ideological disorientation, attacks on the private sector, inadequate infrastructure that caused the cost of doing business to be exorbitant, underdeveloped human resources and fragmented markets that cannot stimulate and sustain large scale production by providing adequate demand.
He said timely address of these ten strategic problem areas will enable the region achieve the desired economic growth and development in all sectors .
Museveni, also attributed low insurance penetration in the region to either lack of knowledge about insurance products or misunderstanding of the concept of insurance accounts, which has made it difficult for the people to make a choice between their immediate need and signing a long term beneficial needs.
He however, said despite these challenges, there are tremendous growth opportunities in the region’s insurance sector.
The president, who was represented at the conference by the Vice President, Mr. Edward Sekandi, assured that the potentials in Africa is huge and the opportunities so much.
” The future is ours if we sort out what needs to be done. Africa will not continue to attempt the greedy by being weak.”
He said in Ugandan insurance sector, there are 29 insurance companies made up of 21 non life and eight life companies, one reinsurance company,30 Brokers, 21 loss adjusters and 1000 agents.
He informed the regional insurance sector operators that they have a role to play in dealing with the challenges, adding that they must take stock of what has been done by accurately defining the interests of the people, so as to be able to plan for the future of the continent from time to time.
He added that the theme of this year’s conference: “Furthering the financial Inclusion Agenda of Africa Nation through Insurance” is very timely, noting that the global insurance market was dominated by insurance companies all vying for a piece of Africa.
Earlier in his address, the Minister for State for Finance, Uganda, David Bahati, said the Uganda parliament, has passed a new law to regulate the insurance sector.
He noted that the new law, also grants broader opportunity for the regulator, adding that it is presently waiting the assent of the president.
He assured that the new law,would improve the industry and Ugandan economic sector in general.
The AIO, was formed on the same basis as OAU (Organisation of African Unity now African Union). It was formed by insurance operators in the continent at a time many independent African countries were leaning towards socialism.
The AIO annual conference, brings together hundreds of top insurance executives also from Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia.
AIO, has 287 members from 54 countries in Africa and associate international members from five countries.
Apart from the annual insurance conference, the body organises the annual African Reinsurance Forum, the annual life seminar, as well as various workshops and seminars on a yearly basis.