The ZEP-RE Academy, the first of its kind on the African continent, has been established in collaboration with the College of Insurance to train insurance executives on the technical aspects of reinsurance management.
Speaking during the launch, ZEP-RE CEO Rajni Varia said the training programme under the ZEP-RE Academy has been set up to address an existing skills gap for reinsurance practitioners.
The training programme, Varia said, has been designed to provide contemporary skills and technical know-how for insurance executives pursuing a career in reinsurance services.
The ZEP-RE Academy will also play a key role in facilitating efforts to raise the local insurance penetration rates under the new Risk Based Supervision (RBS) regulatory regime.
“Though the fundamentals of the insurance and reinsurance industry remain the same, the landscape is ever changing, with new risks that hitherto were not prevalent. Terrorism risk for instance has become an ever-present risk and therefore, we as an industry have to find ways of mitigating this risk for our clients,” said Varia.
He added that ZEP-RE would continue to provide support to the industry in terms of entrenching best practice. “Based on our experience we want to keep pursuing the growth and expansion of the insurance industry,” he said.
Officiating at the launch, the Commissioner of Insurance Sammy Makove said there is a need to enhance insurance training as part of the insurance penetration enhancing roadmap.
“Insurance penetration in Comesa and indeed the rest of Africa is far less than satisfactory with the exception of a few countries. We need to change this if the industry is to find traction,” said Makove.
Kenya’s insurance penetration stands at 2.8 percent while Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania stands 1.6 percent, 1 percent and 0.7 percent respectively.
He added that mobile telephony had changed the way we do business, including how insurance is delivered to the customer.
“In the modern era where the population is more educated, and technology penetration is deepening because of the consistent increase in the number of mobile phones and the reach of cell phone networks, it behooves insurance personnel to increase their knowledge of their products and indeed, share that knowledge with the public.”
The ZEP-RE Chairman, William Erio said increased collaboration is the only sure way of capacity building in the region.
“A proud aspect of our milestones over the years has been the contribution ZEP-RE has made towards building capacity in the region,” said Erio.
The Academy will conduct some classes at ZEP-RE offices in Upper Hill, others at the College of Insurance and in the regional markets that the reinsurance company operates in.
During the event, a book authored by ZEP-RE’s training manager Ken Oballa in collaboration with the College of Insurance, titled Proficiency in Short Term Reinsurance Practice, was also launched.