The inauguration of the Insurance Council of Botswana (ICB) is expected to enhance the contribution of the insurance industry to the economic development of the country.
Of the significant growth recorded by the financial services sector in the past year, 50 percent is believed to be from the non-bank sector.
For that reason analysts believe the establishment of an organisation that will bring insurance companies under one roof will go a long way towards further strengthening the sector to yield even better.
Lydia Moate, Managing Director and founding member of the ICB, said, “We acknowledge that for our industry to be internationally competitive, it has to comply with the highest ethical and professional standards.”
Thus, according to Moate, one way of ensuring compliance with international best practice was to create a sense of accountability on the part of the players.
“Since it can only be a voluntary decision for the affected companies to respond to the invitation to come together, we believe the benefits and opportunities presented by ICB are a sure way to ultimately getting the relevant players to see their place in our project,” Moate told The Telegraph.
Central to the list of objectives declared by the ICB was the promotion of the interests of the insurance industry, and facilitation of consultation and engagement between the industry, government as the custodian of policy and other important stakeholders.
Once the companies are brought together by an interest organisation like the ICB, the Council’s MD said a lot of costs will be saved by having a united or single voice, representing the whole industry rather than individual businesses.
In the final analysis, for government as for the Non-Bank Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority (NBFIRA), the outcome will guarantee an unimpeded development of the industry, and assured influence in shaping the environment in which the industry operates.
It was stated that the continuous assessment and development of industry professionals will be easily attainable in a self regulating set where the council would be acting as a facilitator rather than government trying to chase after individual companies for compliance.
Some of the Insurance giants who have already endorsed the ICB include Botswana Life, AON, Metropolitan and Afrisure.
Dr. Gape Kaboyakgosi, Research Fellow at the Botswana Institute of Development Policy Analysis (BIDPA), pointed out that the establishment of the ICB was a vital step in spurring the industry into self introspection and public scrutiny.
“At the end of it all you can be sure that, when businesses know that people can always report their unethical conduct, it serves to protect the consumer in the same way that it assures a competitive edge for those who aim to emerge the best in sight of the consumer,” said Kaboyakgosi.