The West African Insurance Companies Association (WAICA Reinsurance) has begun a 5-day intensive capacity building for its West African English speaking countries’ insurance staff aimed at strengthening their understanding of reinsurance, service delivery, and strategies to sustain insurance companies in the region. Abiola Ekundayo, managing director and chief executive officer (CEO) of WAICA Reinsurance, spoke with reporters yesterday in Monrovia at the kickoff of the training, where he underscored the importance of building the capacity of people in the insurance sector, which will help handle some of the challenges and deliver good services to the people.

WAICA Reinsurance was established in 1973 to help mitigate the effects of the lack of reinsurance capacity within the West African insurance industry. Director Ekundayo said the main objective of the company is to provide reinsurance services to the insurance sector in West Africa and other regions, stating that “insurers are important people in every society.”

He said for any insurance company to survive in West Africa and perhaps the world, there is a need for reinsurance knowledge and strategies, which he said some companies seek in the western world to effectively and efficiently manage the business of reinsurance, primarily though not exclusively, across the sub-region, “to achieve excellence in our management systems and standards by employing best practices through an efficient and responsive management and an empowered and highly motivated work-force and to create enhanced value for shareholders and other stakeholders.”

According to Director Ekundayo, the organization has made significant progress in building the capacity of insurance staff from the five countries since 2011, and at the same time, strengthened the various institutions to ensure that they provide the needed services as well as understand the sustainability method. He said the establishment of WAICA Reinsurance is a good example of regional socioeconomic integration and will continue to support capacity building.

Matthew J. Innis, deputy director for insurance at the Central Bank of Liberia, who declared the conference opened, urged the participants to take advantage of the training for the betterment of the insurance sector. “I want you to leave from here with the potential to help in transforming the insurance sector of West Africa and the world at large. You have left your various institutions and countries to acquire new knowledge and skills that will help put your entity in different looks and positions,” director Innis told the participants.

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