Insurance: CIMA put to the test of reform

A new era is opening for the Inter-African Conference on Insurance Markets (CIMA) with the entry into office of the new secretary general of this institution. Appointed in December 2020 as the head of the insurance sector regulator in West and Central Africa, Cameroonian Blaise Ezo’o Engolo officially took office at the end of April 2021 at the institution’s headquarters in Libreville, Gabon.

While it is true that this is a change in continuity as noted by Nicole Jeanine Lydie Roboty Mbou, Gabonese Minister of the Economy in the presence of Calixte Nganongo, Congolese Minister of Finance and Budget, representing the President of the Council of CIMA insurance ministers, the new secretary general has a well-defined roadmap. In particular, it will be a question of continuing the work of structural reforms, including, from the end of May 2021, the increase in the share capital of insurance companies from 3 billion to 5 billion FCFA.

In accordance with the decision taken by the regulator in 2016, mutual insurance companies had a period of three years to increase their share capital from CFAF 800 million to 3 billion while public limited companies had five years to increase their share capital. their share capital of 1 to 5 billion after an interlude of 3 billion in 2019. In addition to these provisions, insurance companies were ordered to have additional own funds greater than or equal to 80% of the share capital. Measures to which all insurance companies find it difficult to comply and which call for the regulator, for clarification against the backdrop of the sustainability of companies.

According to reliable information, the outbreak of the health crisis linked to the coronavirus which is impacting activities has led insurance companies to ask the regulator to suspend the application of these measures at the risk of causing business bankruptcy. Several of them are campaigning for maintaining the share capital at 3 billion “the time to see the medium-term contours of the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic”.

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