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New measures Kenya to help revitalize growth of insurance sector

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta vowed Thursday to hasten regulatory reforms, capacity development, public awareness and technology adoption to boost growth of the insurance sector.

Speaking at an International Insurance Convention in Nairobi, Kenyatta in a speech read on his behalf by Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich said Kenya is committed to accelerate growth of a sector that underpins financial inclusion, job creation and stability in the financial markets.

"Insurance plays a big role in risk management for households and private enterprises. We are committed to ensure this sector remains competitive to enhance financial inclusion, market stability and job creation," Kenyatta said.

Kenya ranks number four in the league of African countries with the most advanced insurance market after Morocco, Egypt and South Africa.

Statistics from the Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA) indicate the insurance market in Kenya was worth 19.7 billion U.S. dollars by March.

Kenyatta said enactment of a raft of policy and regulatory incentives that are in the pipeline will revitalize growth of the insurance industry in line with vision 2030 goal on financial inclusion.

"Both the public and private sectors have been coordinating efforts to boost insurance uptake especially among small and medium sized enterprises and low income population," said Kenyatta.

He noted that Kenya’s insurance sector has withstood disruptions occasioned by automation and volatility in the global financial market to remain competitive.

The Kenyan leader urged players in the insurance sector to leverage on technology, innovations and youth bulge in order to sustain their competitiveness.

"I urge insurance companies to be more innovative and venture into the micro-space to ensure more Kenyans have access to affordable products," Kenyatta said.

The East Africa nation has adopted global best practices to enhance growth of insurance sector amid rapidly evolving socio-economic and political dynamics.

The Acting commissioner of Insurance, Godfrey Kiptum said that sound regulations and a stable macro-economic environment have attracted new investments in the country’s insurance sector.

"Insurance sector in this country has evolved rapidly in the last decade.

"We have expanded insurance penetration thanks to improved purchasing power and awareness among Kenyans," said Kiptum.

Kenya had 51 registered insurance companies by 2016 while investments in the sector have grown from 900 million dollars in 2006 to 4.2 billion dollars in the same period.

The insurance Regulatory Authority says in its latest report that 4.3 million Kenya have so far taken up life insurance while total policies sold between 2007 to 2016 stood at 2.7 million.



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