Germany’s leading insurer Allianz have bought a 66% controlling stake in Jubilee Insurance Uganda Limited, in the latest shakeup of the insurance industry in the country.
Allianz Regional Chief Executive Officer Coenraad Vrolijk said that the company started negotiations with Jubilee last year, after appreciating the great insurance potential and opportunities in Africa starting with key markets like Uganda.
Coenraad reveals that whereas Allianz has been in Africa for more than 100 years now, the company had never really built its presence in Africa until 2015. He says that probably 6 years ago Allianz made a very conscious decision saying that Africa is the continent of the future.
“We set ourselves an aspiration for the coming decade. We want to be one of Africa’s leading insurance franchises and businesses across the continent, which for us meant a number of things…, but one of them is to be in all markets that count and Uganda is one of the markets that count.”
When asked whether Oil and gas is what influenced Allianz coming to Uganda, the company’s Regional Chief Operations Officer Delphine Traore says that there are quite a number of motivating factors beyond Oil and gas discoveries.
Traore says that though Oil and gas is important, it’s not the key motivator, adding that when Allianz enters a country the first thing the company looks at is the regulatory environment.
“Here in Uganda, IRA has been very professional, with a lot of integrity. They make sure that there is a lot of transparency and they have built a very strong Insurance Marke,” said Traore.
She further points out that construction and infrastructure developments, investment in agriculture among other economic developments present many risks that call for insurance policy covers.
“The second factor, Allianz looks at,” Traore added; “The area of growth in the economy of the country, here in Uganda, you talk of is the agricultural sector, the middle class is growing, people need Micro insurance and these are all areas that we can bring in our know-how from across all the world and also how to build the sector. The other thing is the people, the skills we find in Uganda and whether we are able to build that skill up, to make sure that we invest in people, so that they bring growth in Uganda…..so these are the key motivations for us to come here, Oil and gas is important but it was not the sole reason why we came here,” added Traore.
The Insurance Regulatory Authority CEO Hajj Ibrahim Lubega Kaddunabi expressed gratitude that bigger global insurance players can have confidence in the Ugandan market due to the regulatory framework.
Kaddunabi says that the expertise brought into the market will enhance insurance service delivery and such a merger will help in deepening insurance penetration in Uganda.
He notes that the expertise in agricultural insurance from Allianz comes in handy for the Ugandan market which is predominantly Agricultural based.
“You definitely know the importance the government of Uganda attaches to Agriculture insurance to the extent that now the government has renewed the subsidy for another 4 years so the coming of Allianz to Uganda could not be at any other time better suited than now” Kaddunabi
The company has also talked of Micro insurance at a time when the government has just come up with the micro insurance regulation to enhance the country’s micro-insurance.
“You know that majority of Ugandans will either benefit from Agricultural Insurance, they will benefit from Micro Insurance. People in Kikuubo, the people in Shauriyako, the people in these markets will benefit the boda-boda, the safe boda Allianz has invested money in,will benefit”-Kaddunabi notes .
Julius Kepripetich, the regional CEO Jubilee Holdings Limited, assured the insurance brokers and the clientele that the Jubilee team remains intact and it will continue to listen to customer needs and ensure seamless customer experience.