May 6, 2008, 6:22 AM
The 34th annual general meeting and educational conference of the West African Insurance Companies Association (WAICA) will be held in The Gambia from 15 to 17 April this year, William B. Coker, secretary general and chief executive officer of the sub-regional insurance association, has said.
The theme of the conference to be held at the Kairaba Beach Hotel in Senegambia is “Professional and Ethical Behaviour in the Insurance Industry”.
About 200 delegates, including representatives of various insurance companies in the sub-region, insurance brokers, and reinsurance companies as well as observers from all over the world are expected to grace the annual rotating conference.
Sunday, 15 April, is the arrival of the delegates, who will be treated to a welcome cocktail in the evening, and the conference proper takes place on 16 and 17 April.
Mr. Coker, a Gambian, says this year the conference will discuss professionalism and ethical behaviour because these issues worry not only the insurance industry but other industries as well.
“So as far as the insurance industry is concerned, we want to see how we can root out all those people who are behaving in an unprofessional manner, in an unethical manner because those are the few people that give any industry a bad name,” Mr. Coker said.
“So we are here to discuss that particular aspect of our work (insurance work) and see how best we can ostracize any such person or companies that are not behaving professionally and are dragging down the profession.”
Mr. Coker reiterated that it is only a few people, a few operators that give the insurance industry a “bad name”.
“Not all the insurance companies are bad, most of them operate professionally but how do we deal with those that are behaving otherwise is what we want to address at this AGM,” he reaffirmed.
At the conference, two thought-provoking papers will be presented and discussed by dynamic stakeholders from the industry.
The first paper will be “Professionalism in a Highly Competitive Environment and the Practice of Ethical Behaviour in the Development of the Insurance Industry - The Role of Management”.
“Professional Insurance Underwriting and Marketing - A Must for the Growth and Sustenance of the Insurance Industry in West Africa” will come up on day-two.
At the end of the conference, a Gambian, Mr Dawda Sarge, managing director of Prime Insurance Company Limited, one of the leading insurance companies in the country, will be installed as the new president of WAICA for one year.
The WAICA AGM rotates among the five English-speaking West African countries - Gambia, Ghana, Nigeria, Liberia and Sierra Leone – that founded the association in 1973.
The annual rotating conference last year was held in Nigeria after Ghana’s a year before.The last time The Gambia hosted the conference was five years ago.