ZEP-RE joins COMESA Member States in celebrating 25 years of the Common Market. The Common Market has had tremendous impact on the lives and people of the region and this milestone is celebrated in recognition of the transformation the economies across eastern and southern Africa have undergone under this regional economic community.
As a specialised institution of COMESA, ZEP-RE has leveraged the goodwill from the Common Market to support growth and development of the insurance industry in the region and thereby encouraging the take up of insurance by millions of new African policy holders. ZEP-RE, a regional reinsurer headquartered in Nairobi and with country offices in Uganda, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Ethiopia, Sudan, Ivory Coast and the Democratic Republic of Congo is collaborating with policy makers and stakeholders drawn from the region to augment financial inclusion and deepen access to insurance services across the continent.
“We are delighted to be an integral part of COMESA and at the forefront of providing regional trade facilitation in insurance services. We congratulate COMESA on reaching this historic milestone. We look forward to an expanded and more integrated Common Market and many more years of collaboration and partnership.” - ZEP-RE CEO Hope Murera
Financial inclusion through Insurance
ZEP- RE is at the forefront of availing risk management products for the agriculture industry in the region. The Company offers weather-based index insurance to vulnerable farming communities which in turn has scaled down the risk exposure of farmers who operate in drought prone or natural disaster zones.
In Zambia, ZEP-RE supports weather-based crop insurance directly impacting more than one million farmers under the Farmer Input Support Program (FISP). We also supports agriculture insurance in Kenya, Uganda and Zimbabwe.
ZEP-RE has also invested in initiatives to provide affordable housing through its innovative collateral replacement indemnity products. So far, more than 1,500 low income families have been supported under the programme across East Africa.
The company further supports financial deepening by leveraging technology to provide capacity for micro insurance through mobile wallets. More than three million lives have been covered in Tanzania, Kenya and Zimbabwe under this programme.
Provision of Capacity
ZEP-RE is an investment grade rated security holding a B++ rating with A.M. BEST and claims paying ability rating of AA+ with GCR. This good rating has enabled the Company to provide reinsurance capacity to insurers in the region. This has in turn enabled the launch and expansion of small enterprises, spurring economic growth by creating employment and encouraging a savings culture across the region. In providing capacity the Company has also been discharging its key mandate of indemnifying assureds all over the region by compensating them for losses incurred. Since inception, the Company has paid more than USD 700 million in claims to cedants in the region.
To deliver on its mandate of developing the Insurance and Reinsurance industry regionally, the company set up ZEP-RE Academy to develop skills at regulatory, executive and technical level. ZEP-RE academy works with and carries out trainings for different markets and regulators, encouraging best practices and experiences. A regional forum was hosted by ZEP-RE in February this year bringing together regulators from the region under the umbrella of the East Africa Insurance Supervisors Association (EAISA) to explore how policy could be horned to strengthen the region’s insurance industry. ZEP-RE is building on the resolutions arrived at the workshop to build a platform for future co-operation in resolving the challenges identified and harnessing the opportunities identified.
Investment and Economic development
As our founding mandate is to spur economic development in the region, most of our investments are within COMESA countries. A significant portion of these investments are structured as syndicated loans to support government programmes such as infrastructure development. We have also channelled funds directly to member states by investing in among other things real estate and deposits in banks of the region. One such investment is the newly constructed multi-million dollar ZEP-RE business park that will be launched early next month in Lusaka, Zambia.
Note to editors:
ZEP-RE (PTA Reinsurance Company) is a regional organization charged with promoting trade, development and integration within the COMESA region through trade of insurance and reinsurance business.
ZEP-RE was created by an Agreement of Heads of State and Government of the COMESA region on 21 November 1990 in Mbabane, Swaziland.
The Company has been in operation since 1993 and is headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya.