The first-ever Southern African Development Community (SADC) Insurance Forum (SIF) started on Wednesday with the aim to strengthen the region’s insurance industry especially in the mining sector.
The high profile event held under the theme, ‘Insurance and its role in mining and the environment’ is billed to end on 6th July. Insurance is expected to play a pivotal and critical role in supporting the economic resurgence of the region especially since mining remains paramount to the economies of its member states. At the official opening Albert Nduna, chairman of the board of trustees for SIF said the workshop aims at covering insurance and its role in all the stages of mining operations, with experienced delegates from both the insurance industry and the mining sector from the SADC member states. Nduna, a former board member at African Insurance Organisation (AIO), said the SIF aims to discuss during the workshop ways of strengthening SADC’s insurance industry and ensure that insurance industries within SADC work together for mutual benefit. “SIF is currently planning to assist increase the number of insurance companies in SADC.
We want to also boost the capacity of the industry by establishing what we could call a SADC insurance pool, that will be used to assist in establishing insurance companies in the SADC region and also form regional insurance companies within SADC member states,” Nduna said. Within the SADC member states, there are about 30 re-insurance companies, 300 insurance companies, about 380 brokers and 3000 other players. “This would add variety to services offered by the insurance industry and also increase turnover generated by insurance industries, thus boosting the SADC economy,” added the chairman of the SIF organising committee, Dziki Nganunu.
For Botswana alone, Nganunu said the insurance industry paid over P1 billion in 2012 as insurance premiums within the 13 insurance companies and seven registered life companies. Mining contributes over 50 percent of Botswana’s economy with diamonds alone contributing 33 percent to the country’s GDP.