Foreign reinsurance firms eye Ethiopia

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Apex Insurance, a reinsurance broker company based in Amman, Jordan, disclosed that it has an interest in working with Ethiopian financial institutions to provide alternative reinsurance companies for the booming market.
Recently company officials met with executives in the Ethiopian insurance industry.
“The market in African countries is doing really well now and we want to be part of that so we are going to expand our operations and become a strong player here,” Ibrahim Saleh, a business development manager for Apex, told Capital.
“We believe in Africa because the future looks bright for everyone so Ethiopia will be one of our priorities and in fact the first place we are coming to, because it is becoming Africa’s hub with an average growth of around 20 percent in the insurance market. This is remarkable and attractive to us,” he said.
“We will bring a different experience and introduce something new not only in Ethiopia but in West Africa and throughout the continent as well,”  Ibrahim added.
The company plans to provide training to local insurance firms here and abroad in addition to delivering an alternative reinsurance company for local insurance firms.
Local insurance firms have been in the process of establishing a reinsurance company in Ethiopia after the Central Bank issued a directive recently.
“We hope the government will begin opening up the financial sector for foreign investment,” Zuhair A. Al Atout, CEO of the company said. “If the law is changed, it will be a good opportunity for Ethiopia,” he said.
The third largest broker in the Arab world Apex has a foothold in Saudi Arabia and is also operating in Iraq.
In  a related story Kenya Reinsurance Corporation Ltd conducted a workshop for 15 local insurance firms that are also its clients.
Dan Munyao Kathitu Marketing Executive of Kenya Re told Capital that these types of trainings are conducted on a regular basis to boost the capacity of insurance firms.
Kenya Re was established in 1970 by the Government of Kenya through an Act of Parliament. Ownership then was 100 percent by the Kenyan Government. In 2007 the Government divested its share and the current ownership is now 60 percent by the government, and 40 percent by the public through the Nairobi Securities Exchange.

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