Portugal and Mozambique meet at summit in Maputo
TVM (File photo) / Prime Minister Carlos Agostinho do Rosario
Mozambican Prime Minister Carlos Agostinho do Rosario on Monday praised the role of the insurance industry in the country’s development, through the transfer of risks, thus making economic and social activities viable.
“Insurance makes it possible to transfer risks from individuals, companies and institutions to the insurance companies”, Rosario said, at a gala dinner celebrating the 25th anniversary of the country’s largest private insurance company, Impar. “This ensures the viability of activities which otherwise would not be undertaken because of aversion to risk”.
Rosario added that this was the context in which the government approved, in 2013, its strategy for the development of the financial sector, with the aim of guaranteeing a solid, diverse, competitive and inclusive financial sector.
Implementing this strategy would increase access by Mozambicans to insurance, he continued. Seven per cent of Mozambicans were covered by insurance in 2014, and the forecast is that this will rise to ten per cent by 2018.
As for small and medium enterprises, most of these have no insurance, but Rosario envisaged an increase in the percentage covered over the same period from two per cent to five per cent.
Under the same strategy, the Prime Minister continued, the government has been promoting financial education, seeking to increase levels of knowledge about the importance of insurance for covering risks associated with economic and social activities.
He believed that the growth of the Mozambican insurance industry was encouraging, but stressed that the industry “needs to become more inclusive with the creation of adequate products for the low income population”.
Rosario encouraged innovative initiatives, such as using bank agents and information and communication technologies to ensure that local communities can gain access to insurance services.
He urged insurance companies to join with the government’s efforts to ensure health insurance, particularly for low income households.
Health insurance, said Rosario, should be regarded as an initiative of financial inclusion, since it frees citizens from the need to have money available to cover medical expenses, particularly in unexpected situations.
The chairperson of Impar, Manuel Gamito, backed up the Prime Minister’s words, and declared that health insurance should be adopted as an instrument of social protection.
Impar is part of the same group as the country’s largest commercial bank, the Millennium-BIM. It has 187 branches throughout the country, many more than any other private insurance company.Source: AIM