Robust economic growth and an expanding market makes Africa an appealing region for the insurance industry

The final panel session of day one of DWIC 2020 will focus on the expanding market in Africa, and will seek to answer the question or whether or not the continent is the new frontier for the MENA region.

Adan Abbey, who will be speaking on the panel and is the co-founder and president of Horn of Africa Insurance, says there is no doubt in his mind as to the opportunities available in the African market.

“Africa is arguably the most exciting region in insurance right now, yet not without its own set of unique challenges,” he says. “I believe through partnerships that merge local expertise, international best practices, and innovative business models, insurers will find success on the continent”

Fellow panellist Brendan Plessis, executive vice president and head of strategic business development at AXA XL, agrees, but says the insurance industry must also be aware of the challenges of working in this emerging market.

“Generally speaking, there are some highly positive and encouraging developments across Africa that are a cause for optimism,” he says. “These include: robust economic growth, the continued movement toward greater economic cooperation and integration, and the ongoing efforts of Chinese state-owned enterprises and private companies to promote (re)insurance cover as a condition for loans and investments.

“At the same time, the continent’s (re)insurers face several difficult challenges in their quest to achieve the requisite scale needed to assure long-term stability. These include a volatile global (re)insurance market that is searching for a sustainable balance between the cost of capital on the one hand and the increasing financial burdens associated with more frequent and extreme weather events on the other. African (re)insurers are not immune from these dynamics and the resulting tensions are contributing to the implementation of overly protectionist policies in some countries.”

“How will these and other developments play out?,” he asks. “That should make for an interesting and lively debate at DWIC 2020.”