The West African Insurance Supervisors Association (WAISA) has announced the establishment of a College of Insurance Supervisors for the West African Monetary Zone (CISWAM Z).
The establishment of the college was formalised following the concurrence of the Committee of Governors of the West African Monetary Zone at its 43rd meeting since August 2021.
However, at the inaugural meeting of the CISWAMZ held last February 2022, the Director, Inspectorate Directorate at the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) Nigeria, Pius Agboola, was elected as the Chairman of the new body.
The establishment of the college is aimed at strengthening cross border insurance supervision through information sharing and investigative assistance, in conformity with International Association of Insurance Supervision (IAIS) principles, minimizing fraudulent activities in the insurance sector in accordance with the Financial Action Task force (FATF) principles on Anti-Money laundering.
The College of Insurance Supervisors of the WAMZ has an important role to play in the region, including, fostering closer relationship by creating an enabling environment for the insurance sector to flourish, most especially through collaboration and harmonization of regulatory standards.
Also, the college would ensure increasing operation of cross border network by branches and/or offshore subsidiaries in the insurance sector; add a new dynamic dimension to the economies of countries; and enhance solo supervision of insurance entities by the competent authorities.
It would also foster a better understanding of supervisory practices and more efficient and effective supervision, and facilitate group-wide supervision, entailing in particular, but not limited to, an assessment of the Group’s financial situation, compliance with the rules on solvency; risk concentration and intra-group transactions, and system of governance, among others.
The regulators are active members of African Insurance Organization (AIO) and the IAIS, thus recognizes the importance of these arrangements for cooperation and information sharing amongst the six insurance regulators, namely Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra-Leone.
“The importance of CISWAMZ is further buttressed by the overarching objective behind the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AFCFTA) by accelerating intra-African trade and providing a single market for goods and services, facilitated by the movement of persons in order to deepen the economic integration and prosperity on the Continent as well as boosting Africa’s trading position in the
global market by strengthening Africa’s common voice and policy space in global trade negotiations.
“Besides, the CISWAMZ will greatly enhance multilateral cooperation and promotion of international standards in fostering favourable investment environments and orderly markets in the West African sub region and beyond.
The insurance industry, like other components of the financial system, is changing in response to a wide range of social and economic forces.
In particular, insurance and insurance-linked financial activities are increasingly crossing national and sectorial boundaries.
Consequently, the efficient and timely exchange of information among supervisory bodies, both within the insurance sector and across the financial services sector within the West African sub region is critical to the effective supervision of internationally active insurers, insurance groups and financial conglomerates essential in the context for the effective supervision of the financial system as a whole.