During the Africa Financial Industry Summit organized on March 10th by Jeune Afrique and Africa CEO Forum, Delphine Traoré, COO of Allianz Africa and President of the African Insurance Organization (AIO), participated in a panel under the theme: "Reinventing Post-Covid African Finance ".
She was alongside Ahmed Shide, Ethiopian Minister of Finance, Ade Ayeyemi, CEO of Ecobank, Paul de Leusse, CEO of Orange Bank, Sandra Sancier-Sultan and François Jurd de Girancourt, experts at McKinsey. Julie Gichuru, Head of Public Affairs and Communications at Mastercard Foundation was the panel’s moderator.
Sharing the opinion of the CEO of Ecobank, one of Allianz Africa's biggest partners, Delphine insisted on the importance of "working better together" to support African populations. When asked how to ensure that Allianz Africa employees continue to serve clients while working from home, Delphine assured that Allianz Africa started digitizing its processes well before the pandemic, investing 10% of its annual revenues in order to provide its partners with reliable internal systems and deliver insurance services to everyone on the continent. "We went from 20% telecommuting capacity before the pandemic to nearly 100% coverage for 1,400 employees during the pandemic," she explains.
With Delphine's speech having given a taste of Allianz Africa's strategy, Julie Gichuru then turned her attention to the role of insurers in the recovery of post-Covid African finances and the positioning of Allianz Africa as a key player.
According to Delphine, if insurance is less "popular" in Africa than elsewhere, which remains a great challenge, the sector still has a significant growth potential. As a result, she cites a pre-Covid study in which McKinsey indicated that the insurance market in Africa will grow by 7% between 2020 and 2025, much more than in Asia, 3 times more than in Europe and 2 times faster than in America.
Despite the occurrence of Covid-19, Allianz Africa’s COO maintains that there are reasons to remain optimistic and seize growth opportunities: African insurers should take advantage of the current health crisis to develop banking and mobile money partnerships. Indeed, 90% of bank customers interact directly with their customer service representatives and 25% would have opened their accounts online with 400 million e-wallets. According to her, it would also be necessary to continue to digitalize services since less than 30% of insurers in Sub-Saharan Africa (excluding South Africa) allow to consult a customer account online and only 5% allow to subscribe to an insurance online.
Delphine cited as an example the great adventure of BIMA, which has "revolutionized the sale of insurance in Africa". This micro insurer, partner of Allianz Africa on the continent, distributes insurance for less than one (1) dollar/month, thanks to digitalization. Every day, BIMA succeeds in reaching clients of whom 93% earn less than US$ 10/day and 75% had never heard of insurance before!
Another aspect of the economic recovery is that the pandemic has caused a 10% drop in trade in Africa. As a practical solution, Delphine suggested credit insurance with Euler Hermes, to strengthen the confidence of the continent's economic ecosystem.
Delphine concluded her speech by insisting on Allianz Africa's confidence in the continent's potential. “We are expanding our network in East Africa with the acquisition of Jubilee's Non-Life business, which is a belief in the future of insurance in Africa.”