The Inclusive Insurance Lab International Dialogue in Ghana
Written by Barbara Chabbaga, Co-Founder CoverApp
February 27– March 2, 2018
I had the privilege to represent CoverApp in an international dialogue between Kenya, Ghana, Albania and Mongolia.
This was held at the shores of River Volta in Akosombo, in the eastern region of Ghana. The inclusive insurance innovation lab (iiiLab) is a sequence of national and international platforms for key stakeholders in the participating countries in the insurance sector. It provides an opportunity to build leadership capabilities while working together to develop innovative solutions that will increase uptake of insurance. During the one-year lab process, we expect lots of invigoration of the insurance space in Kenya, and the other countries.
The Kenya team started off by taking a boat ride down the River Volta, and we couldn’t help but notice the stark difference between the 4-star hotel we were staying at and the neighbouring mud huts that dotted the river. When we took the boat ride it was around 5pm and people were taking their evening baths in the river. I was certain that running water was not an option for them. This left a ringing question in my mind: Is insurance viable for them?
We spent the next 3 days in various sessions, brainstorming and deconstructing our industries and countries in search of an answer. We also did some field visits to various small businesses in Akosombo including hairdressers, fishermen, clinics, electronic repair shops among others. I personally got to interact with Vivian, a hairdresser in Akosombo, a mother of two girls. She told us about the challenges she has gone through in growing her business, including going a whole week with not a single client at the salon. She said that when she has money, she saves an equivalent of $2 that is collected by what they call a “susu” who represents a savings organization. She said she would be open to including insurance to this. Some of the risks she is prone to are health (which she has covered through the national scheme), theft of her stock and salon equipment and injuries. Death is also a risk, but not something we discussed. I noted that Vivian had a smart phone and used mobile money to transact regularly.