The 45th OESAI Conference, celebrating its 50th year, found a vibrant host in the picturesque island nation of Mauritius.
Tony, the interviewer, engages with Jean-Alain Francis, CEO of EllGeo Re and the local organising committee chair for the event. In this insightful interview, Jean-Alain shares his thoughts on hosting the conference, the dynamics of the Mauritian insurance market, and the company’s strategic foray into East Africa.
Jean-Alain begins by expressing his enthusiasm for hosting the OESAI Conference in Mauritius after a delay caused by the pandemic. He emphasises the support received from the local authorities and the strong attendance, with over 50 countries represented, showcasing the growing recognition of OESAI as a regional insurance organisation.
Turning to the Mauritian insurance market, Jean-Alain highlights its well-established nature, owing to a history dating back to the 19th century. However, he acknowledges the need for growth beyond the island and the shared challenges faced by insurers globally, particularly in making insurance more accessible to the underserved population. Despite these challenges, he notes the positive trend in the uptake of health insurance, indicating a potential shift in perception.
The conversation then shifts to EllGeo Re’s expansion into East Africa, specifically Kenya. Jean-Alain emphasises the company’s measured ambition, aiming to provide value rather than conquering markets. With a focus on engaging in conversations and developing bespoke solutions, EllGeo Re sees growth potential in East Africa, particularly in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, and Ethiopia. The strategic recruitment of experienced professionals on the ground reflects their commitment to long-term success.
Celebrating 20 Years
Our vision is to be a leading solutions provider for insurance and reinsurance in Sub-Saharan Africa.
In addressing the theme of collaboration, Jean-Alain underscores the importance of existing initiatives and gatherings within the insurance industry. He advocates for increased engagement with younger professionals, viewing them as the key to advancing the industry in Africa. Encouraging education about the value of insurance and the creation of career opportunities for young people can help shape a positive future for the industry.
Furthermore, Jean-Alain emphasises the importance of promoting gender equality within the industry, acknowledging the significant role women play in driving change in certain markets. He sees conferences as platforms for sharing information and positive experiences, fostering a sense of unity and common purpose among industry professionals.
The emphasis on collaboration, education, and diversity highlights the industry’s commitment to growth and development across borders.
OESAI is not just a meeting of minds but a catalyst for shaping the future of insurance in the region. Ellgeo Re and the Mauritius insurance market made sure delegates to the 45th conference experience exactly that.