TIRA vows attracting more local, foreign investors

TANZANIA: TANZANIA Insurance Regulatory Authority (TIRA) has vowed to closely work with other authorities to ensure the insurance market is attractive for both local and foreign investors.

Commissioner of Insurance, Dr Baghayo Saqware, said recently that the authority continues to effectively follow the guidance provided by the Ministry of Finance on expanding investment in the market.

“The authority continues to implement its five-year Strategic Plan which among other things, aim to increase the number of registrants through enhancing legal and regulatory framework,” he added.

He made the statement when he was presenting the annual insurance market performance report.

Dr Saqware said the implementation of the Financial Sector Development Master Plan (FSDMP), the National Financial Inclusion Framework III (NFIF), and other inter-governmental strategic initiatives represent a concerted effort to strengthen and expand the country’s financial sector, including the insurance sub-sector.

The initiatives focus on regulatory reforms, infrastructure development, financial inclusion and fostering partnerships.

The report indicates that the country’s insurance market has maintained its robustness in 2022, supported by the favourable performance of both global and local economies.

The performance of domestic economy remained stable amid external shocks by growing at 4.7 per cent and 6.8 per cent in 2022 for Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar, respectively.

On the other hand, the growth was partly contributed by the recovery of economic activities coupled with sustained public and private sector investments.

The economy was projected to grow at 5.2 per cent and 7.1 per cent in 2023 for Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar, respectively, due to improved business conditions, banking sector profitability, liquidity availability to fund business and public investment in infrastructure.

Dr Saqware said that the insurance industry Gross Written Premiums (GWP) amounted to 1,158 bn/- in 2022, representing a nominal increase of 26.7 per cent from 911.5 bn/- written in 2021.

He said growth in gross premiums for general insurance policies increased from 746 bn/- in 2021 to 895 bn/- in 2022, representing a significant growth of 19.9 per cent, adding that life insurance segment also exhibited robust growth, with GWP rising from 165 bn/- in 2021 to 242 bn/- in 2022, indicating a remarkable increase of 46.7 per cent.

“GWP recorded by local reinsurers by assuming risks from outside the country was 17.7 bn/- in 2022… The country’s overall insurance penetration which includes public and commercial sector was 1.99 per cent in 2022 compared to 1.68 per cent in 2021.

Moreover, Dr Saqware said as of 31 December 2022, the authority had registered 36 insurance companies compared to 35 companies in 2021, an increase which was attributed to the addition of one new reinsurance company, namely Pan Afrique Re.

“As of the current date, four new insurance companies, namely, CRDB Insurance Company, ZIC Takaful, 1st United Takaful Limited and East Africa Reinsurance (Tanzania) Company Limited were registered, contributing to the growing number of insurance companies to 40,” he said.

He noted that ZIC Takaful Company Limited and 1st United Takaful Limited were registered to operate Sharia-compliant business in Tanzania, adding that companies were formerly licensed following the completion of requirements set under the Takaful Operation Guidelines, 2022.

Similarly, the TIRA boss said in 2022, there were 22 accredited reinsurance companies and 36 accredited reinsurance brokers for conducting reinsurance business, which is an increase from the 20 reinsurance companies and 33 reinsurance brokers accredited in 2021.

“As of 31 December 2022, 36 insurance companies were registered, of which 24 are privately owned with at least one-third local ownership, three are 100 per cent state-owned by the government of Tanzania and Zanzibar and nine are 100 per cent locally owned” Dr Saqware said.

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