By Abubakari Seidu Ajarfor
The Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Safety Insurance Brokers Limited, Mrs. Lena Adu-Kofi has been sworn-in as the new and first female President of the Ghana Insurance Brokers Association (GIBA) since 1988.
Other members of the Executive Council are Mr. Shaibu Ali, Vice President; Mrs. Ekua desBordes-Jackson, General Secretary; Mr. Stephen Kwarteng Yeboah, Treasurer; Mr. Henry Kom, General Secretary; Mr Dennis Guddah, Treasurer and Mr. Nathan Adu, Ex-officio Member.
Speaking at the ceremony to launch the 30th Anniversary Celebration and Investiture of the new Executive Council in Accra, the newly sworn-in President has promised to raise enough capital to facilitate the acquisition of its own office building through prudent management and investment of membership subscriptions, levies and other incomes.
She said they have started holding talks with their Nigerian counterparts who have already achieved council status in 2003 to also become the National Council in Ghana as one of her greatest visions for GIBA.
Mrs Adu-Kofi added that GIBA is a member of the Private Enterprise Federation (PEF), and has started the process of becoming a member of the African Insurance Organization (AIO) to increase their presence on the continent.
She indicated her position and desire to push the resolution which was passed in December 2017 to review the constitution as well as revise the code of conduct for members of the Association.
Mrs Adu-Kofi, who has nearly 32 years of management, leadership and industry experience, said it is her objective to make GIBA membership attractive by issuing incentives to sub-committee members, rewarding dedicated members, revising their welfare entitlements periodically, introduce membership entitlement such as car stickers and production of GIBA cloth and other souvenirs.
“We should aspire to operate as per our objectives to promote, raise, maintain and uphold high standard in insurance broking in order to create a community of brokers that can effect change,” she stated.
According to her, the launching of their 30th Anniversary celebration comes the moment for reflection, re-strategize and adopt new ways of achieving their objectives of educating the public on Insurance, lobbying the necessary bodies and Association to get their concerns addressed, making members more attractive, ensuring unity among members and making sure that members adhere to ethical and professional standards.
She intimated that a publication by GIZ has revealed that the low insurance penetration which is less than 2percent in Ghana is as a result of lack of awareness on the importance of insurance and the negative attitude of Ghanaians towards insurance possibly because of past experience.
“The ordinary Ghanaian needs much education on insurance; the essence, principles and benefits of insurance, as well as, to understand the distinctive and highly independent role the brokers play as a professional intermediary, who is not tied to any specific insurance company,” Madam President opined.
According to her, she will work closely with the National Insurance Commission (NIC) and all other stakeholders to realize the implementation of the Compulsory Insurances in order to increase their penetration, especially the Compulsory Group Life.
Mrs Adu-Kofi emphasized the need to ensure that GIBA and Ghana Insurers Association (GIA) establish a TV and radio station as a medium to push the agenda of insurance education by hosting live programs such as infomercials, insurance quizzes, conferences, public lectures, insurance awards ceremonies, publicize claim settlements and share risk management tips on insurance portfolios.
The outgone President of the Association, Mr. Nathan Adu, who also an ex officio member of the new Executive Council after his four year term comes to an end, said from a general membership of 41 Brokers in 2014, GIBA currently has 71 members.
He indicated that Brokers were highly reluctant on joining the Association, however, since they introduced the publication of members in good standing, many have been compelled by their clients and other factors to be part of their fold.
Mr. Adu however expressed worry over the many who are yet to join the Association with some having being in the system for many years.
According to him, GIBA is NIC’s recognized Trade Association for all Ghanaian registered Brokers and Consultants and has served as the mouthpiece for all with regards to lobbying Government and the Commission, negotiating with insurers (for that matter GIA) on commission rates, making recommendations and inputs on market guidelines and directives which do not only benefit members but anyone who is registered as a Broker.
He intimated that another challenge is the difficulty in fishing out entities who go round parading themselves as Brokers and indulging in several illegal and unethical activities on the market.
Mr. Nathan indicated that October this year will mark exactly 30years of GIBA and therefore felt highly honoured among his numerous achievements exiting office with the last task of launching their 30th Anniversary Celebration under the theme, “30 Years of Insurance Broking in Ghana, Achievements and Challenges.”
Activities for the Anniversary celebration includes Health walk and medical screening, interaction with trade associations, corporate social responsibilities, public lecture and training, fun games, insurance quiz (University level), dinner dance and awards night and climaxed with thanksgiving service.