Leo Tazvitya Huvaya, a chartered insurer and prominent figure in the African insurance industry, shared his insights on the transformations he has witnessed over the years.
As the former Secretary General of the African Insurance Organization (AIO), Huvaya has observed significant shifts in the industry, particularly with the rise of electronic media and social networking platforms. In this article, we delve into his thoughts on the evolving African insurance landscape, the importance of networking and regional integration, and the role of the Organization of Eastern and Southern Africa Insurers (OESAI).
Networking and Increased Participation – According to Huvaya, the emergence of electronic media and social networking platforms has played a pivotal role in transforming the African insurance industry. The ease of connectivity and accessibility has led to a surge in participants attending industry conferences. In the past, it was challenging to gather representatives from each country, but now the numbers have grown exponentially. The shift is so remarkable that countries are now competing to host these conferences, signalling a positive and exciting development.
The Power of Networking: Reflecting on the past – Huvaya notes that there was a lack of awareness regarding the benefits of networking in the insurance industry. Many professionals were content operating within their own markets, unaware of the possibilities and opportunities beyond their borders. However, this mindset has changed over time. The realization that networking facilitates business expansion, cross-border collaborations, and the promotion of countries as investment destinations has led to a shift in attitudes.
Changing Attitudes and Perceptions – Huvaya highlights a meaningful change in the perception of regulators and government officials. Previously, they were hesitant to endorse networking events such as OESAI due to concerns about potential political repercussions. However, with a greater understanding of the benefits and positive impact these conferences bring, regulators and officials now perceive such gatherings as essential for industry growth and development.
OESAI’s Evolving Role – As the discussion turns to the role of OESAI, Huvaya acknowledges the organization’s significant evolution. Initially focused on training industry players, OESAI has grown to provide a comprehensive range of services, including training, networking, and promoting regional integration. The prominence of OESAI can be observed in Southern Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, and East Africa, where it has fostered greater collaboration and integration among reinsurance brokers, insurers, insurance brokers, and regulators.
Opportunities for OESAI’s Impact – Huvaya identifies further opportunities for OESAI to influence the industry positively. He emphasizes the need for a unified platform that brings together regional institutes and organizations, such as the Insurance Institute of Zimbabwe, South Africa, and Tanzania. By establishing a collective platform, OESAI can provide unified education, training, and facilitate integration efforts across the region. Moreover, the incorporation of regulators, insurance brokers, and reinsurance brokers into OESAI’s initiatives will enhance its reach and impact.
Huvaya’s insights shed light on the changing landscape of the African insurance industry. The industry has witnessed notable transformations, driven by the advent of electronic media and social networking platforms. The shift towards networking, regional integration, and collaboration has unlocked numerous opportunities for growth and development.
OESAI, as a leading organization in the region, has played a vital role in facilitating these changes and is poised to make an even greater impact by fostering unity and providing comprehensive services to industry professionals.