Mwinyi launches ‘Takaful’ insurance service

ZANZIBAR President, Dr Hussein Mwinyi, has launched an insurance service based on Islamic principles (Takaful) offered by the Zan- zibar Insurance Corporation (ZIC) through its subsidiary known as ZIC Takaful.

The Takaful service ad- heres to the principles and values of the Islamic religion, including the exclusion of interest and gambling while also opposing investments in businesses, which go against the faith principles.

Speaking at the inaugura- tion in the Isles on Wednesday, attended by some government officials, religious leaders, financial institutions’ heads and various stakeholders in the insurance industry, President Mwinyi commended the Corporation for its innovative service, saying: “It will further lay great foundation and opportunity for the country to promote itself as the best investment location in the East African coast.”

He added: “I am using this opportunity to welcome domestic and foreign investors of our country to take advantage of this facility by coming to invest in insurance services of this type and in turn insure large projects, which will stimulate the growth of our economy.”

Elaborating, he said that the Takaful service is being used by various countries in Africa, Europe and Asia in providing opportunities to various businesses that follow Islamic principles to offer insurance services to the public with Islamic guidelines.

President Mwinyi emphasising on the government’s goal to ensure that all citizens, without com- promising their religious beliefs, have access to various economic services provided by different institutions including ZIC for effectively interpreting the government’s intentions.

Equally, he assured that insurance premiums collected under the new channel will be invested in projects that don’t violate the Islamic principles and guidelines.

In addition, he explained that Takaful services are an important link for the growth of financial services that fol- low Islamic principles, and hence, an opportunity for banks operating on such principles to provide insurance services, which do not go against the Takaful establishment.

The president said Zan- zibar still has a great job towards speeding up insurance coverage in urban and rural areas through public awareness campaigns and creativity in various ways to reach majority islanders in need of the services for economic development.

On his part, Zanzibar Deputy Minister of State (President’s Office), Finance and Planning, Ali Suleiman Ameir said, the service will also help in supporting the citizens against calamities that may arise such as natural disasters, diseases and accidents by considering the principles of religion as well as protecting their property, developing their business reliably and helping to serve themselves for a long time.

He added that the introduction of Takaful product aligns with the government’s efforts to strengthen the insurance sector and stimulate economic growth in the country, which greatly benefits all in the nation. “In terms of the government, Takaful services will help increase government revenue through taxes and fees generated from insurance activities.

This will contribute to enhancing the government’s capacity to provide essential services to citizens and implement development projects.

We commend ZIC for this important step,” he pointed out.

On his part, ZIC Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Arafat Haji said the product is a continuation of the com- pany’s core strategy aimed at ensuring that their services reach people from various backgrounds, with the goal of improving access to insurance services for citizens and thus accelerating its own growth and that of the nation as a whole. He added:

“We believe that Takaful services will en- hance our reputation among all stakeholders, a belief that we think will further strengthen us commercially and guarantee our ability to protect the projects, businesses, and assets of our investors while also increasing employment opportunities for citizens

“The introduction of Takaful services will acceler- ate the pace and strength of growth and support various ongoing efforts by financial institutions in the country that have been developing diverse services in line with the prin- ciples of Islamic faith.” Commenting, Tanzania Insurance Management Authority (TIRA) Commissioner, Dr. Baghayo Saqware said that currently the insurance market in the country serves only 15 to 20 percent of the population.

Therefore, innovation was aimed at increasing the use of insurance services as it is also the government’s goal to have an inclusive system for the provision of this economically important service.

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