Rajni Varia, CEO, ZEP-RE (left) and Sammy Makove, Commissioner of Insurance during the launch of the ZEP-RE Academy in Nairobi. (PHOTO: COURTESY)

ZEP-RE has launched an academy to train local and regional insurance executives. 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 reinsurance.

Speaking during the launch, ZEP-RE CEO Rajni Varia said the academy was set up to address the skill gaps that were identified in an ever-changing market environment.

"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 reckons 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, Commissioner of Insurance Sammy Makove said there is a need to enhance insurance training so that more people can be covered by the insurance umbrella.

"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 per cent, while Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania stands 1.6 per cent, one per cent 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."

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.

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