At AIO 48th Annual Conf: Smart out; Kajwang In as President

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African Insurance Organisation President in his welcome to this 48th Conference, Annual General Assembly and 50th Anniversary celebration of our cherished AIO.


He said special words of recognition also go to the Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA), the College of Insurance, the Association of Kenya Insurers (AKI), and the entire Local Organizing Committee of this event for providing this enabling environment to the elite of Africa’s insurance industry under the African Insurance Organisation to meet at this 48th Conference and celebrate the African Insurance Torchbearer.

Tope Smart, AIO President noted that 50 years is a long time, and few are the organisations resilient enough to weather the storm of political, economic and health crisis that have befallen our dear continent as a whole and our individual institutions in particular.

The African Insurance Organisation’s 48th Conference, Annual General Assembly and Golden Jubilee held from 25th through to June 30, 2022, Nairobi


As the AIO celebrates 50 years, he said we call for an African Insurance Renaissance.


The AIO, established in 1972, has always had as one of its main objectives, “the development of a healthy insurance and reinsurance industry and the promotion of inter-African co-operation”. According to him though we can beat our chests with pride, when we look back at how far we have come, it is no secret that there is still a lot to do:
• The African insurance industry remains one of the least penetrated in the world, with an average of around 2%, which is low compared to the global average of around 7%.
• Our industry’s growth keeps getting slowed down by our inability to build substantial capital reserves due to poor saving culture and “Premium flight”.
• There is still heavy reliance on foreign expertise
• Our industry is still plagued by poor public image and lack of trust.

“These and many more are the challenges we face today, and we need to address them if we intend to secure a better future for our industry.


“The Golden Jubilee of the AIO shall be marked by a symposium, where we intend to commence discussions on some of these issues raised earlier and use our history as a steppingstone towards the future.

He reminds the stakeholders at the event that one of the big topics in the world today is “climate change”.


According to the African Development Bank, he stated Africa is the most vulnerable continent to climate change impacts under all climate scenarios above 1.5 degrees Celsius. Despite having contributed the least to global warming and having the lowest emissions, Africa faces exponential collateral damage, posing systemic risks to its economies, infrastructure investments, water and food systems, public health, agriculture and livelihoods, threatening to undo its modest development gains and slip into higher levels of extreme poverty, he added.


The 48th AIO conference is under the theme “Insurance And Climate Change: Harnessing The Opportunities For Growth In Africa”.

AIO President stressed that as the continent’s risk managers, the insurance sector is called upon to provide risk management solutions, in the form of risk mitigation and transfer, building resilience and enabling the continent transition to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.

“The calibre of our speakers is telling of the quality of our reflections and resolutions at the end of this 48th AIO Conference.

“The subtopics have been carefully designed to touch as many aspects as possible and propose solutions on how best we can contribute to this issue of climate change.


Smart also extend a special word of gratitude to all our speakers, for accepting to be our resource persons at this conference. May I equally thank you conference delegates, especially those attending in-person and even virtually for accepting to be part of the solution and joining these discussions, he added.

“On the side-lines of the 48th Conference will be the holding of the AIO Life Seminar with two very interesting topics being:
Topic 1: “Implications of Climate Change for Life Insurers: Mortality, Morbidity and Insurance Premiums”
Topic 2: “How to attract Millennials to the life insurance industry to influence the growth of African economies”

“To enable us to paint a clearer mental picture of what it was like, working in the African insurance industry in 1972, we have invited some of pioneers and founding fathers of the AIO for a special panel to share with us their experiences.


In addition to sharing their experiences in the industry, he disclosed that we shall be treated to firs hand information on how the AIO came to being and a brief history of the AIO.


“While much has been asked of you as stakeholders of the African Insurance Industry, let me ask a little more from you today. I ask that you continue to strive to always be an enabler and not a barrier to the advancement of the African insurance industry and African development as a whole.

“We were able to achieve a lot together, but all things come to an end, even the good ones.

“The presidency will thus change at the end of this conference. May I seize this opportunity to express my profound gratitude to you, the AIO members for lending me and the Executive Committee your collaboration to run the affairs of the AIO very smoothly for the past year despite the turbulent situation, he stated. I call on you to give the in-coming President your characteristic support to continue from where we ended, he stressed.


“The African Insurance Organisation signed a Headquarters Agreement with the Cameroonian Government in 1984, and since then, it had not been revised. He revealed how a team led by myself, was present at the capital city of Cameroon, Yaoundé, for the signing of a revised headquarters agreement, which now grants the AIO all the merits of an international organisation with accompanying advantages. Smart further stated that some of the advantages which I can highlight are full exemptions from taxes and custom duties, immunities, facilities of staff of the AIO under the Diplomatic Scheme, improved facilities surrounding the keeping and handling of foreign currencies in Cameroon and many more.


“As we celebrate the AIO 50th Anniversary, I have the pleasure to announce to you that the Edge Hotel and Convention Centre where we are seated today, the largest state of the art Conference Facility in Nairobi complete with all the other facilities, has been built by the College of Insurance of Kenya and the whole project executed by one of us who has had a visionary leadership, strategic thinking, commitment, focus, passion and drive for its successful completion; and that is none other than the CEO of the College of Insurance and incoming President of AIO, Dr. Ben Kajwang.


The outgoing AIO President concluded that let me request him to come forward for a “standing ovation” from the Insurance fraternity from the African Continent and the rest of the World.


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