NAICOM, FSD Africa, Unveils Bimalab Nigeria to boost development and adoption of digital solutions for Insurance Industry.

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The BimaLab Accelerator Programme will support the nation’s vision to meet the rising demand for innovative insurance products

Elias Omondi, Senior Manager, Risk Regulations in FSD Africa said the National Insurance Commission of Nigeria (NAICOM) and FSD Africa launched the BimaLab Nigeria Insurtech Accelerator Program, an accelerator programme designed to boost the development and adoption of digital solutions for the insurance sector.

Mr Omondi further disclosed BimaLab Nigeria is designed to address gaps in the insurance market in Nigeria by educating, nurturing and promoting innovators and Insurtech start-ups. The programme will borrow from Kenya’s BimaLab I, BimaLab II and global best practices with a focus on local experience to provide Nigeria with the most competitive and attractive start-up accelerator programme, he added.

According to him, 10 companies will be selected to participate in the ten-week programme that will provide them with the expertise, resources, and support to develop and scale market-ready solutions that bring social and/or commercial value to Nigeria’s insurance sector.

Across the continent, he said little knowledge of the insurance industry coupled with low income has affected the rate of insurance penetration which stood at 3 percent across Africa mass market. Yet, a recent report by Deloitte indicates that affordable insurance products play a crucial role in mitigating the effects of negative financial shocks and in doing so reducing financial vulnerability.

To widen insurance coverage, he said FSD Africa has recently rolled out a similar accelerator programme in Ghana (InnoLab). The solutions being supported through the accelerator programmes will be expected to also speak to the needs of populations beyond their borders of origination, Omondi stated.

“Among the success stories from previous BimaLab Accelerator programmes include Bismart, a Kenyan insurance agency that has partnered with Britam to launch a short-term school fees insurance cover called Elimu Smart. The cover protects school-going children from dropping out of school in the event their parent or guardian becomes critically ill or dies, safeguarding the future of the children even in cases of incidents.

Also, commenting on the launch of the BimaLab Accelerator Programme: Kelvin Massingham, Director – Risk and Resilience, FSD Africa said: “We believe that this programme will enhance the development of a vibrant ecosystem of start-ups; through collaboration with corporate partners, investors and research institutions to accelerate and scale innovation in the insurance industry in Nigeria. We have successfully implemented the programme in Kenya, and are commencing the same in Ghana.”

While, Thomas Sunday, Commissioner For Insurance/CE, NAICOM pointed out that as a key driver of change in the financial sector, innovation has led to immeasurable efficiency and gains. According to him, even though these changes can sometimes be accompanied by uncertainty and hesitation, there is evidence of great success. I have no doubt that with such collaborations, Nigeria is set to be a successful case study on insurance innovation across the continent, he added.

Ben Llewellyn-Jones, UK’s Deputy High Commissioner in Lagos added that: “As a result of Covid-19’s negative impact and the resulting need for improved resilience against economic shocks, innovative insurance becomes increasingly important in addressing emerging vulnerabilities among businesses and households. The UK government has long been enthusiastic about leveraging technology and innovation as major vehicles for making impact and supporting the Nigerian government so the partnership between UK Aid funded FSD Africa and the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) is crucial in fostering the development of an Insurtech ecosystem that focuses on growth, inclusion, and strategic alliances.”

Applications for BimaLab Nigeria are now open on The deadline for submission is 23 February 2022.


About the National Insurance Commission, Nigeria:

The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) was established in 1997 by the National Insurance Commission Act 1997 with responsibility for ensuring the effective administration, supervision, regulation and control of insurance business in Nigeria and protection of insurance policyholders, beneficiaries and third parties to insurance contracts.

About FSD Africa:

FSD Africa is a specialist development agency working to reduce poverty by strengthening financial markets across sub-Saharan Africa. Based in Nairobi, FSD Africa’s team of financial sector experts work alongside governments, business leaders, regulators, and policymakers to design and build ambitious programmes that make financial markets work better for everyone. Established in 2012, FSD Africa is incorporated as a non-profit company limited by guarantee in Kenya. It is funded by UK aid from the UK government.


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