Home » Africa: Ghana denies imposing Mandatory $300 Akwaaba Insurance on Tourists and Travellers in February

Africa: Ghana denies imposing Mandatory $300 Akwaaba Insurance on Tourists and Travellers in February

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The National Insurance Commission of Ghana has denied the imposition of a $300 mandatory Akwaaba Insurance Policy for international tourists and travellers visiting the country effective end of first quarter 2022.

There had been uproar among stakeholders in the tourism sector on the new policy for tourists to the country which view the move by the government as ill-advised and a deliberate way to obliterate the gains made in the industry.

According to an article published by thebftonline.com, a consortium of three Ghanaian insurance companies – State Insurance Company PLC (SIC), Enterprise Insurance and GLICO Insurance Company – will oversee implementation of the policy, Managing Director of SIC Insurance PLC, Stephen Oduro, disclosed to the B&FT.

READ: Africa: Akwaaba -When COVID-19, Insecurity Dwindle Hospitality, Travel And Tourism Industry Potential

“Per provisions of the policy, every traveller coming into the country will be required to purchase the insurance regardless of the duration of stay and nationality,” he indicated.
The Interior Ministry is accordingly expected to urgently ratify the proposal to ensure it becomes operational even before end of the first quarter.

Mr. Oduro, who made these remarks in regard to expanding the country’s insurance penetration, said there are many other initiatives in the offing to increase Ghana’s insurance coverage.

The current national insurance penetration level is still below two percent, with the penetration rate in the whole of sub-Saharan Africa not reaching up to 20 percent. However, the situation in Ghana is expected to improve in the near-future, as steps have been taken for SIC to provide insurance to all tertiary students in the country, as well as fire insurance for all hotels in the country.

“We have had negotiations; we signed every agreement with the National Union of Ghana Students on the provision of insurance to all tertiary students in the country, and that will soon be executed. These are some of the solid measures to increase the penetration rate,” Mr. Oduro noted.

The insurance industry in Ghana has numerous reasons for optimism. Coupled with an emerging middle-class that is helping to boost the sector’s assets, the insurance regulator – the National Insurance Commission (NIC) – has in the past expressed its determination to capitalise on this latent market potential; targeting a penetration rate of 10 percent by the end of 2021.

Though the NIC hoped to leverage the growth of new business lines such as bancassurance, micro-insurance and mobile insurance to bring this target into reach, the penetration rate beginning this 2022 remains static at below two percent – and has been lingering after the 2021 target elapsed.

With the regulator also bearing down on underwriting policies, Ghana’s insurers are faced with the difficult task of significantly boosting efficiency and bolstering their bottom-line over the coming years – a situation that is already triggering calls for mergers in the insurance sector.

But the National Insurance Commission (NIC) in a statement, said: “It has come to the notice of the National Insurance Commission (NIC) that a publication on the above-mentioned product which is purported to be mandatory for all international travelers arriving in Ghana effective end of first quarter 2022 is being circulated.

The NIC wishes to advise the general public that the said ‘Akwaaba Insurance’ has not been approved by the Commission and as such any publication to that effect should be disregarded”.

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