NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya is open to more foreign insurance companies
to play a role in a new government plan to make every citizen
have an affordable medical insurance cover and transform Nairobi
into a financial hub, head of insurance regulatory agency said
on Thursday night.
“We are inviting
more players in insurance and reinsurance sectors to set up in
Nairobi and make their contributions to the universal health
insurance goal,” said Godfrey Kiptum, the Chief Executive
Officer of the Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA).
“This is a huge
opportunity for the insurance industry to play and complement
the role of the government,” he said when he officially launched
a Nairobi regional office of an international reinsurance
Uhuru Kenyatta has set a goal of providing universal health
insurance as one of the four pillars of social transformation in
what he said is meant to build his legacy in his second and last
term in office.
government said the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) will
play the central role in ensuring the success of the plan,
Godfrey Mwangi, the fund’s Chief Executive Officer said they are
open to doing business with the private sector.
Kenya is seeking to
register additional 8.5 million new members into the health
insurance scheme, according to Sicily Kariuki, the Cabinet
Secretary for Health.
“We want to raise
the total number of beneficiaries under NHIF to 25 million in
the immediate term,” Kariuki said on Wednesday.
Kenya has a
population of 45 million people, according to Kenya National
Bureau of Statistics. The government said it plans to complete
universal health coverage by 2022.
Kiptum called for
collaborations between local insurers under the Association of
Kenya Insurers and foreign insurers to ensure that the health
insurance for all goal is delivered.
collaboration will also result into skills transfer and sharing,
which will help to enrich the local industry.
Kenya has recently
attracted several insurance and reinsurance companies making it
a regional hub of these financial services, according to the
Among the most
recent entrants into the market are Prudential, Scor Global,
Allianz, and CICA-RE among others.
Their setting up
here is part of the efforts to transform Nairobi into a global
financial hub, Kenya officials said earlier.
In July last year,
President Uhuru Kenyatta signed a law, Nairobi International
Financial Centre Act, set to cement efforts to make Nairobi a
global financial hub.
The Act also
establishes the Nairobi Financial Centre Authority (NFCA), which
will license firms that will operate within the center.