Mauritius is hosting, from 27 to 31 August 2023, the 45th Conference of the Organisation of Eastern and Southern Africa Insurers (OESAI) Annual Conference and its Annual General Meeting. OESAI, established in 1973, is a member-based Insurance organisation that aims to promote the business and practice of insurance through encouraging and enhancing co-operation in the field of insurance and reinsurance and their related activities among companies operating in the Eastern and South Africa Region.
The opening ceremony was held, yesterday, at the Intercontinental Hotel in Balaclava in the presence of the Minister of Land Transport and Light Rail, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Mr Alan Ganoo; the Minister of Financial Services and Good Governance, Mr Mahen Kumar Seeruttun; the Chief Executive Officer of the Financial Services Commission, Mr Dhanesswurnath Thakoor; the Chairperson of the Board of the OESAI, Ms Patty Karuaihe Martin; and other eminent personalities.
The conference is bringing together participants from all over Africa and beyond who will exchange ideas, experiences and work together to find solutions for current issues that are affecting the Reinsurance and Insurance industry on the continent and beyond. The theme this year is “Leaving No One Behind Financial Inclusion through Innovation.”
In his address, Minister Ganoo stated that insurance is an important driver of economic growth and development and is a factor driving growth at all levels of society, from family life to massive infrastructure projects to technology development. According to him, expanding the lucrative insurance market in Africa may be key to creating inclusive prosperity in the region.
He however observed that Africa faces a big challenge to make financial services more accessible, affordable, and relevant to a broader population. He is thus of the view that the private sector has a role to play by leveraging technology and innovation to improve delivery of banking, insurance, savings, lending, investment, and payments solutions to individuals and businesses who are traditionally underserved or excluded from the formal financial systems.
He further said that from a regional integration perspective, incorporating financial inclusion into the regional economic agenda requires collaboration between Governments, the financial intermediation industry, financial regulators, fintech companies, consumer groups and other stakeholders.
He concluded by observing that insurance as a risk protection mechanism plays an important supporting role in many of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals namely: No Poverty, Reduced Inequalities, Zero Hunger, Good Health and Well-being, Gender Equality, Decent Work and Economic Growth, Industry Innovation and Infrastructure, Climate Change and Partnerships for Goals.
He underpinned that Government’s ambition is to lead the way in the field of sustainable finance on the Continent. Moreover, he highlighted that his Ministry is currently in the process of designing an Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Framework for Africa with the aim of satisfying, among others, compliance, and disclosure considerations. He said that a grant has been received from the African Development Bank for the development of the ESG Framework for Impactful Investment.