Tuesday, August 27, 2013

WAICA Re enhances skill of insurers on marine and aviation insurance

Cross section of the participants
Insurance practitioners from various companies in West Africa are undergoing a weeklong international training course on advance marine and aviation insurance in The Gambia.

The training that started on Monday is organised by the West Africa Reinsurance Corporation (WAICA-Re), a sub-regional reinsurance company based in Freetown, Sierra Leone. 

It is being attended by about 50 participants from various insurance companies in English-speaking countries of West Africa namely Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.  It is underway at the Kairaba Beach Hotel in Kololi.

The course was declared open by the governor of the Central Bank of The Gambia, Amadou Colley, who was represented by Mr Saikou Gassama, a senior officer at the Bank.

The participants are being train on modules such as marine cargo underwriting, marine cargo and hull reinsurance, aviation insurance underwriting, and aviation insurance claims and adjustments.

Speaking on the occasion, the managing director and chief executive officer of WAICA Re, Mr Abiola Ekundayo, said marine and aviation are chosen to be main theme of the training because there are obvious challenges in underwriting those two classes of insurance in the sub-region.

“We know there are challenges in these fields in the sense that we do not have many marine and aviation underwriters.  Also, if you look at the insurance industry in Africa generally, the old people are going out and the younger ones they are leaving are not well versatile when it comes to underwriting skills, particularly marine and aviation insurance. 

“So we are trying to develop them, the younger ones, in order to prepare them for the future so that the industry will not collapse even if all the old ones retire.”

WAICA Re CEO claimed that at the end of the training, by the time the participants listened to various experts, the facilitators, they will also be versatile in underwriting the two classes of insurance – marine and aviation.

Friday, August 9, 2013

In Gambia, people are afraid to speak

Source:  unitedpatriotsworldwide.com
Opinion is said to be the cheapest commodity in the world – because every other person has one.  This might not be very true of The Gambia where people with contrary views on controversial issues are not able or willing to speak their mind.

Not only on controversial issue but people are mute on things like healthcare delivery and other social issues which they could comment on.

People are afraid of drawing attention of the authorities to some of the issues affecting their lives and livelihood including existing human rights problems and abuses and persuade the government to take action on them. 

Instead, most of the times, people only open their mouth in public to praise the government - sing the praises of the big men and women - but keep mute on real issues affecting them as if everything is ok. 

However, in principle the Constitution of the land has it that everyone has the right to freedom of opinion … and the freedom to express, impact opinion without interference.  In practice, this is far from the reality due to various restrictions that are continuously being enacted by the government. 
Citizens with divergent views on some of the national issues are either really afraid or legally not allowed to speak their minds.  People are getting more and more scare from speaking their minds on national topical issues.  Or if one is so strong with his/her opinion and cannot help button it, the person has to greatly censor him/herself.

People are afraid of speaking their mind for one of two reasons, or both.  Some are afraid that in the process of commenting, giving their view on something, they may be seen to be going against the government in which case they could be labelled as an opposition. Though being an opposition is not prohibited anyway! Besides, others are afraid they may fall foul of one of the various laws in the country that limits people’s expression and in which case they will face dire punishment.

It has got to a stage that even when you want discuss certain things with people on phone, you will simply be reminded that “please you are on phone”, as if somebody is listening to everything.  Whether that is the case, is another thing but this is an indication that people are afraid even to speak particularly if they hold a divergent view on a controversial topic.

The people have opinions but would not speak.