Mr. Chairman, Commissioner of Insurance, GIA President, CIIG President, Director of the Ghana Insurance College, Executive Secretaries of the ECOWAS BrownCard Secretariat and the WAICA Secretariat, Colleague Chief Executive Officers of Broking, Insurance and Reinsurance Companies, Friends from the Media, Invited guests, Ladies and Gentlemen.
Good afternoon and welcome. My heartfelt gratitude goes to all our invited Guests and the General Membership of IBAG for honoring the invitation to join us launch our 30th Anniversary Celebration and witness the swearing-in of the new Executive Council members of our noble Association.
One of the benefits of being a Broker for the last 17.5 years is that I am able to look out into the audience and see so many familiar faces. During this period, I have come to know many of you who are here today. I am impressed by your love for this industry, your respect for its history and your confidence in its future. I look forward to working with you as we chart the next 30 years and beyond. I am privileged to work with a talented and dedicated group of individuals and within an industry rich in vitality and promise. Indeed, I deem it a great honor and privilege, as I stand here to give my inaugural speech as the new President of IBAG and for that matter, the first female to be licensed as a Broker in Ghana and to become President of our dear Association. I thank you all for the opportunity and for the trust you have placed in me.
The purpose of an associations’ presidential inauguration is to celebrate the history of the association and look forward to its future. To the new president, it helps put his or her role in the association into context. That is why in my acceptance speech, two months ago at Peduase when I was elected President I mentioned that the way forward to making our Association greater is to stay committed and united and to take keen interest in its development. And yes, the new executive cannot achieve this without the total support of all members.
We have come a great distance since 1988 when IBAG was birthed, and yet, in important ways, we are rooted to the time-tested principles and values on which IBAG was founded. I shall not depart from those values. I will draw from the wisdom and experiences of my predecessors, especially, Mr. Nathan Adu, who will continue to serve as an Ex-Officio Member on the Executive Council. I will rely on the work of the various Sub-Committees to achieve our intended objectives and would urge every member to remain dedicated to the tasks. Where the need arises to co-opt Members into these Committees, we shall do so and I will be happy to see many of our young Executives come on board to assist. United by a collective attitude to embrace the rapid change and innovation of the modern era, we will unlock the power of insurance broking.
We are not content to rest on our laurels. With any commemoration comes the chance to look forward to what lies ahead. In that sense, this year can be seen not simply as an anniversary, but as the beginning of the next 30 years for IBAG and the industry as a whole. Even as we recognize our significant accomplishments, we acknowledge that there is still a great deal to be done.
I believe ardently that IBAG’s unwavering mission is to invest in the future, by sharing knowledge to develop the insurance industry to best support the growth of Ghana and our client’s business goals. Members ideas will be warmly received and utilized so long as they fall within the interest of the Association and are practicable. Thanks to all who have already shared their ideas and suggestions with me. I deem it a step in the right direction. But I want to highlight a few thoughts I will like to see come into fruition.
Strengthen Relationships with Other Bodies
First, embracing the core values of integrity, innovation, and growth, we would like to nurture deep and abiding relationships with all stakeholders, maintaining an on-going dialogue at all times to become the most valued insurance partner for our clients who seek responsive, reliable and intelligent solutions tailored to their requirements.
GIA: I look forward to a more strengthened relationship with the GIA and wish to see us have more consultative meetings to enable us resolve most of the challenges facing the industry. Our work together will help us adhere to and maintain professional standards and best practices.
NIC: As an Association we shall always be available to team up with the NIC to sanitized our market and ensure that unethical practices are reported to the Regulator in good time. I pledge my support to delegate Members and submit recommendations when called upon to do so towards the development of the Industry. We would also like to work closely with NIC and all other stakeholders to realize the implementation of the Compulsory Insurances, in order to increase our dear industry’s insurance penetration, especially the Compulsory Group Life.
For the other Bodies and Institutions in the Industry, IBAG will be willing to collaborate and support your course for the betterment of the industry. We shall encourage more Members to join CIIG and WAICA. Where we need clarifications on Brown card matters, be rest assured that we shall be at your door. You can also draw our attention and update us on modern trends. Obviously, GIZ and the Insurance Awareness Coordinators Group (IACG) have also been impactful in recent times; hence I do pledge our support towards your programs in respect of human, financial and skill development.
Currently, IBAG is a Member of the Private Enterprise Federation (PEF), and have has started the process of becoming a Member of the African Insurance Organization (AIO). I am confident that this will be done in no time to increase our presence on the continent.
IBAG to Become a National Council
One of my greatest visions is for IBAG to become a National Council. The Legal Committee, which I chair, has started the process by dialoging with our colleague brokers in Nigeria, who have already achieved council status since 2003. There is still more work to be done, but, I am hopeful that the objective is highly attainable during my tenure of office. Thankfully, the Commissioner has promised to empower IBAG and GIA to enable us self-regulate our Members, so this thought is a step in the right direction to support the Commissioner’s aspirations.
For IBAG, we should be able to vet new applicants who want to join the Broking market and submit our reports to the Regulator to approve or disapprove their applications. I believe this objective if achieved will also facilitate the monitoring and supervisory role of the NIC.
Acquisition of Property
Through the prudent management and investment of Members subscriptions, levies and other incomes, we shall do our very best to raise enough capital to facilitate the acquisition of our own Office Building.
Industry TV or Radio Stations
A publication by the GIZ has revealed that the low insurance penetration recorded 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 experiences. Public education and awareness, therefore, becomes highly paramount to us as Insurance Practitioners.
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 Broker plays as a Professional Intermediary, who is not tied to any specific insurance company.
In line with the above, it is my greatest wish to see IBAG and GIA come together to establish a TV or Radio Station as a medium to push the agenda of Insurance education. Through this Media House, we can hold and telecast live programs including infomercials, Insurance quizzes, conferences, public lectures, Insurance Award ceremonies, publicize claim settlements, share risk management tips on insurance portfolios etc. In this regard, the Insurer and the Broker must all be seen as a friend to the Insured and a Solution to their Insurance Needs.
Review of Constitution
Recently, at our Annual General Meeting in December, 2017 we passed a resolution to review our Constitution, as well as, revise our Code of Conduct. I am committed to see it done before the end of this year. Members are encouraged to send their inputs for consideration through the Secretariat in good time to enable us work within schedule.
30th Anniversary Celebration
The commencement of my tenure today coincides with the Launching of the 30th Anniversary Celebration, under the theme “Celebrating 30 years of Insurance Broking in Ghana; Achievements and Challenges.” I take this opportunity to say Ayekoo and to congratulate our Founding Members, the Past Presidents, past Council Members, and all Members of the Association who have contributed to the success of the Association. I believe this Anniversary, is the time to reflect on the road to this point, re-strategize and adopt new ways of achieving our objectives of educating the Public on Insurance, lobbying the necessary bodies and Association to get our concerns addressed, making Membership more attractive, ensuring unity in our fraternity, making sure that Members adhere to ethical and professional practices, etc.
It is my objective to make IBAG Membership attractive by
- Issuing incentives to Sub-Committee Members
- Rewarding dedicated Members
- Revising our Welfare Entitlements periodically
- Introducing Membership entitlement such as, Car Stickers
- IBAG cloth and other Souvenirs
Surely, if we aspire, we will achieve all the enumerated plans with the support of all our partners in the industry
Yes, as Brokers, we should aspire as per our objectives to promote, raise, maintain and uphold a high standard in insurance broking in order to create a community of brokers that can effect change.
Yes, we should aspire to operate an open transparent framework which encourage learning and spread the knowledge of insurance to change the insuring public for the better.
Yes, we should aspire to make the change. And we recognize that our success is intertwined with the fortunes of the entire insurance industry, just as it has been for the last 30 years. My hope is that IBAG’s investments in education and propagating the benefits of insurance in the coming years will create plentiful opportunities for growth, through thoughtful collaborations with all players in the industry.
In thinking about all the things we should aspire for, I will like to quote an American student nurse who spoke of how his advisers helped him “to believe that many of the things we automatically rule out as impossible are perhaps just difficult possibilities.”
We too can learn from that advice. Once we decide something can be done, the conversation moves from “Can we?” to “How do we?” A challenge is not simply a difficult task. It is also a summons, a call to action, and I look forward to working with you to answer that call.
We are here for a reason. We are gathered in this auditorium because a handful of visionaries called for a way of broking, and today, we the new executives, myself as the President; Mr. Shaibu Ali, the Vice President; Mrs. Ekua desBordes-Jackson, Secretary; Mr. Henry Kom as Assistant Secretary; Mr. Stephen Kwarteng, Treasurer; Mr. Dennis Guddah, Assistant Treasurer; and Mr. Nat Adu, Ex-Officio member of council, take the mantle to continue to chart an even bigger way of broking.
- We will listen to you and work to respond to your need. We have the ability to deliver original thinking in reply;
- We look forward for durable fraternal relationships. We aim to be your ideal management team and grow with you to create sustainable value into the future
I wish to thank the outgoing executives and all previous executive council members who have worked diligently to bring the association thus far. In moving the association even farther, we, the new Executive Council cannot do so without the support of our entire membership, and indeed our colleagues from GIA and NIC.
Finally, I wish all of us Happy 30th Anniversary