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Advancing Inclusive Insurance in Africa: Innovation in Industry, Policy and Development

05.10.2015

Policy makers and international experts met in Nairobi, Kenya, on September 30th, at the conference organised by Chatham House with the support of the AIG, to evaluate innovation and progress in micro-insurance initiatives across Africa.

NAIROBI, SEPTEMBER 30, 2015 - Policy makers and international experts met in Nairobi, Kenya, on September 30th, at the conference organised by Chatham House with the support of the AIG, to evaluate innovation and progress in micro-insurance initiatives across Africa. 

According to the Microinsurance Network's State of Micro-insurance study, the micro-insurance sector in Africa grew by 200% between 2008 and 2011, the fastest growth rate in the world. This rapid growth has been aided by technological innovations, new products and distribution channels that are helping to overcome high-cost barriers.

The role of innovation in transforming micro-insurance was a central theme of the event was. Speaking at the conference, David Ashiagbor, Coordinator of the Making Finance Work for Africa Partnership (MFW4A) said, "There are innovations in micro-insurance, especially for agriculture and property in Africa." He went on to add, "Ghana and Tanzania have increased coverage to about 7%, mainly driven by digital insurance".

Despite this progress, insurance penetration in Africa remains low, representing a missed opportunity to reduce real and perceived risks. "Only 4.4% of African lives are covered by micro-insurance, and there are huge disparities across the continent, with many countries at less than 1% penetration", David Ashiagbor said.

The conference featured discussions around key issues in the micro-insurance sector. What are the new innovative approaches to micro-insurance? How to exploit the potential technology advances? What are the barriers to inclusive insurance in Africa? International experts from academia, African governments, development partners and the private sector presented new insights in these areas, as well as the wider aspects of financial inclusion.