Nelson Kuria, CEO of CIC Insurance, Kenya, is Chair of the ICMIF Development Committee, and during the ICMIF Conference last year he took the opportunity to share an update with delegates on the activities of the Development Function within ICMIF and appealed for the help of members in improving access to insurance for those who currently have no access to risk protection.
Nelson began by telling delegates that in being at the ICMIF Conference “I feel like I have been born again, renewed and energised in the mission of changing peoples’ lives; for us it is not a question of selling insurance, we offer people solutions, solutions that empower them and that give people dignity”. Nelson told delegates that now is the opportune time for cooperatives and mutuals to work together to help each other especially as 2012 is the year of cooperatives.
The ICMIF Development Function plays an important and catalytic role in building and expanding the movement at a grassroots level. It gives members an opportunity to know one another better and helps to facilitate cooperation and solidarity which is the very heart of our sector’s principles and values.
The functions of the Development Function and its activities are:
- Facilitate member to member cooperation and understanding
- Share best practice and information
- Global representation of member concerns and issues
- Facilitation of technical assistance to members
- Increase inclusivity for members
- Access to affordable capital via Allnations
Nelson shared examples of member to member cooperation with conference delegates, saying “We do things that really touch peoples’ lives where it really matters most”; examples included:
- SOCODEVI (Canada) Insurance Program support provided to Tajy (Paraguay)
- BRS (Belgium) and MUSSCO (Malawi) collaborated on a microinsurance project
- Tajy (Paraguay) and La Segunda (Argentina) introduce agricultural insurance
In terms of sharing information and best practice Nelson highlighted the most recent example of this work by citing the launch of the ICMIF microinsurance website in 2011.
The Development Function also helps provide access to affordable capital for new and smaller members – in particular via the Allnations Fund which helps nurture the new mutual and cooperative insurers of the future. There is a significant demand for capital in the short to medium term and so Allnations needs to keep receiving funds from other members to facilitate their work.
Nelson says “It is miraculous how much we have accomplished so far and this is indicative of the level of stewardship and accountability of the Development Function within ICMIF”. However, Nelson continued to say that help is still needed and wherever possible asked the larger mutuals and cooperatives to continue to commit funds to Allnations.
The strategy paper for the work of the Development Function for 2012 to 2015 was approved by the Development Committee during the network event in Colombia last year and will continue the work of the improving access to mutually based risk protection for the mass market by:
- Becoming an effective representative voice for the mutual and cooperative based microinsurance providers globally
- Supporting the mutual movement in new markets by investing in innovation, research and development of mutual systems
- Becoming the centre of excellence and technical support and information to new and growing members
Nelson told delegates that now is the time when we have to claim our position as progressive, sustainable and relevant institutions which can face up to the many socio- economic challenges faced by many in our world today. This may seem ambitious, says Nelson, but we should aim to make a difference in peoples’ lives.