By Anthony Kokoi and William Harmon
Liberia’s premier insurance company, Activa International Insurance Company (Liberia) Limited, has signed a 3-year partnership agreement with the Monrovia Football Academy (MFA) to undertake comprehensive insurance of all its players and staff.
The agreement was sealed yesterday at the Blue Field in the PHP Community in Monrovia. ACTIVA, which conducts its corporate social responsible (CSR) programs through its ACTIVA Foundation has become co-sponsor of the MFA, an ambitious academic and sporting project.
The academy provides quality education and professional training and life skills for less privileged boys and girls to break down gender barriers, improve academic performance, and produce well-rounded leaders.
It uses football – the most popular sport in Liberia – as a positive-incentive mechanism to encourage student-athletes to attend school and improve academic performance. It also delivers professional coaching and a comprehensive football curriculum that disrupts bad habits, introduces fundamental techniques, and encourages student-athletes to “think the game” at a high level.
It is against this backdrop that the company’s CEO indicated that they thought it prudent to form a partnership with the MFA. “This effort is part of our CSR and we are proud to be here for this agreement,” he noted.
Speaking at the brief ceremony, Activa-Liberia CEO Saye Gbalazeh said he was impressed with the kind of work MFA is doing in Liberia. “Taking the kids from the communities and providing them these kinds of opportunities and incentives are such great ideas, and we at ACTIVA really appreciate this endeavor.”
ACTIVA is a pan-African insurer and the originator of the Globus Network, which is a grouping of insurance companies in 36 countries in Africa. Activa is headquartered in Cameroon, with its holding company in Mauritius.
“We as a company exist within a community and that community is Liberia, and we see ourselves as being part of this community. Therefore, we must support positive things that are happening within this community,” he said
The company provides client services backed by the best international financial security such as Munich Re, Africa Re, among others. Services are delivered by an efficient management system.
Managing director Gbalazeh signed on behalf of his entity, while MFA founder Will Smith signed for his institution in the presence of Activa staff and the kids of the academy.
The academy currently has 70 student-athletes (41 boys, 29 girls) aged between 8-12 and aims to build its own facilities so that it can eventually expand to 300 students aged 8-18 from all 15 counties of Liberia.
“We are excited to sign a 3-year partnership with one of the biggest companies in Liberia and are proud to have them as sponsors,” Smith said. He added that the company’s logo will be displayed on all MFA distribution materials, including quarterly newsletters, the MFA website, and flyers.
Activa-Liberia now serves as MFA’s official provider of staff and student health insurance
Meanwhile the MFA has been actively cultivating global recognition. It recently hosted U.S. women’s national soccer team coach and 2015 FIFA Coach of the Year, Jill Ellis, in Liberia from November 29-December 2, 2016. Ellis was accompanied by the goalkeeper of the team, Ashlyn Harris. Both women visited Liberia as sports envoys sponsored by U.S. Embassy, Monrovia, U.S. Soccer, and SportsUnited, which is the Department of State’s division devoted to sports diplomacy. Ellis was subsequently named as an official Monrovia Football Academy Ambassador.