, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 4 – Indian Mobile operator, Bharti Airtel has announced a strategic cooperation agreement with South African financial services group, Sanlam, for the distribution of insurance and health funding products.
This agreement covers seven African countries, on a non-exclusive basis, in Kenya, Ghana, Tanzania, Zambia, Uganda, Malawi and Nigeria.
Through the agreement Sanlam will sell its Life, General and Health insurance products through Airtel’s telecommunications networks in the seven countries.
Bharti Airtel has operations in 17 countries across Africa, with over 50 million subscribers.
“This will offer our customers in Africa access to a broad range of sophisticated products and services to support their lifestyles and aspirations, and this partnership will enable us to significantly enhance the value we offer our loyal customers,” Chidi Okpala, Airtel’s Director & Africa Head, Airtel Money said while commenting on the transaction.
Insurance penetration remains relatively low across Africa, with Kenya, Tanzania and Malawi standing at about three percent, Ghana at about two percent, while Uganda and Nigeria are both less than one percent.
Mobile penetration however, is estimated to be about 60 percent in Sub Saharan Africa; while analysts anticipate growth to be at 75 percent penetration by 2016.
At the end of 2011, Kenya was the leading the east African region in terms of mobile usage with a 67.2 percent mobile penetration rate, followed by Tanzania with 56 percent mobile penetration and Uganda with 38.4 percent.