The West African Insurance Supervisors Association (WAISA) has established the College of Insurance Supervisors for the West African Monetary Zone (CISWAMZ).
According to a statement by Rasaaq Salami, NAICOM’s Head of Corporate Communications and Market Development, this followed the concurrence of the Committee of Governors of the West African Monetary Zone at their 43rd meeting on August 26, 2021.
At the inaugural meeting of the CISWAMZ held on February, 22, 2022 Mr. Pius Agboola who is the Director, Inspectorate Directorate at the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) Nigeria was elected as the Chairman of the new body.
The objective of the college is to strengthen cross border insurance supervision through information sharing and investigative assistance, which are 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 emphasizes on the important role of:
▪︎ Fostering closer relationship by creating an enabling environment for the insurance sector to flourish most especially through collaboration and; Harmonization of regulatory standards;
▪︎ Increasing operation of cross border network by branches and/or offshore subsidiaries in the insurance sector;
▪︎ Adds a new dynamic dimension to the economies of countries.
▪︎ Enhance solo supervision of insurance entities by the competent authorities
▪︎ Fostering a better understanding of supervisory practices and more efficient and effective supervision.
▪︎ Facilitate group — wide supervision, entailing in particular, but not limited to an assessment of the Group’s:
Others include, Financial Situation, Compliance with the rules on solvency, Risk concentration and intra-group transactions, and System of governance.
The regulators are active members of African Insurance Organization (AIO) and the IAIS thus recognized the importance of these arrangements for cooperation and information sharing amongst the six insurance regulators (Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, 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 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.
The CISWAMZ is expected to 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 which is also essential in the context for the effective supervision of the financial system as a whole.