East African Insurance Supervisors have agreed to collaborate on promoting cross-border insurance products and services, to tackle low insurance uptake and penetration in the region.
The Members also agreed to coordinate joint innovation initiatives, relating to insurance development in Member States, under the auspices of the East African Insurance Supervisors Association (EAISA).
The supervisors, at their 7th Special Meeting of the Executive Committee (ExCo) meeting, held in Eldoret, also agreed to employ a joint approach in supervising systemically important insurance groups, monitor cross-border industry stability, and coordinate the establishment of insurance supervisory colleges.
Speaking on behalf of all the EAISA members, the Exco Chairman, Alhaj Kaddunabbi Ibrahim Lubega, Uganda’s Insurance Regulatory Authority IRA) Chief Executive Officer, underscored the importance of coordinated regional initiatives, relating to research and development (R&D), for effective policy development and implementation.
The 1st EAISA 2024/2025 – 2028/2029 Strategic Plan, was approved and adopted by the supervisors during the meeting, with its approval, the regional insurance landscape is headed for major changes, as the member countries have now to harmonize their legal and regulatory frameworks, to provide a unified foundation that supports cross border insurance operations by September 2025.
The region’s insurers must develop and adopt risk management and solvency standards by June 2025, to ensure adequate financial reserves for potential risks and solvency requirements.
The plan focuses on five thematic areas: insurance industry stability, market development and innovation, consumer protection, institutional sustainability, cooperation, collaboration, and industry integration.
The Strategic Plans have identified 11 key areas for improvement, including claims handling, fair pricing, innovation hub establishment, product diversification, insurance inclusion, market expansion, crisis management, stress testing, and market surveillance.
The Plan involves the creation of regional frameworks for information exchange, risk assessment, supervision, financial literacy, insurance education, and market conduct guidelines.
The Meeting was hosted by the Insurance Regulatory Authority, Kenya and attended by representatives from Member States, including, the Commissioner of Insurance and CEO, Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA) of Kenya, Godfrey Kiptum, Doreen Shelagh Kahonda, Executive Director, National Bank of Rwanda (BNR), and Issa Said Khadija, Deputy Commissioner of Insurance, Tanzania Insurance Regulatory Authority.
Others were Emmanuel Mutatsh, Representative to the Director General – Autorité de Régulation et de Contrôle des Assurances (ARCA) – Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Désiré Nimubona, Representative to the Secretary-General – Agence de Régulation et de Contrôle des Assurances (ARCA) – Burundi.
The meeting addresses EAC insurance markets’ challenges, including market volatility, climate change, cyber risks, geopolitical developments, and frontier risks disrupting supply chains and posing new policy, regulatory, and supervisory challenges.
By Judy Too and Kiptanui Cherono