Malawi will from today celebrate the Pension and Insurance Awareness Week, the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) has said.
The week comes at a time insurance penetration remains minimal at 1.4 percent, largely dominated by mandatory motor insurance policies.
RBM Governor, Dalitso Kabambe, said in a statement the week will be commemorated under the theme: Pension and Insurance for All.
“The core objectives of the Pension and Insurance Awareness Week are two fold, namely; to promote consciousness of pension among workers, employers and the general public with the ultimate objective of increasing the number of members in the national pension scheme; and to promote awareness of insurance among Malawians so as to stimulate uptake of insurance products and services with an aim of increasing insurance penetration, expressed as a ratio of premiums to gross domestic product (GDP),” Kabambe said.
The RBM Chief said it is worrying to note that matters of pension and insurance tend to be given less priority in decision making of individuals and households in the country and yet they are crucial and critical.
“This is reflected in the low numbers of people with pensions at 304,000 only and low uptake of insurance products at 1.4 percent insurance penetration.
“The consequences are that many people find it hard to live a better life after retirement and that when uninsured assets of people are caught up in problems, people find it hard to deal with such matters. The week is, therefore, meant to reflect on these matters,” he said.
According to RBM, during the week, the central bank, in conjunction with the Insurance Association of Malawi, Life Insurance and Pension Association of Malawi, Insurance Brokers Association of Malawi, Malawi Congress of Trade Union and Employers Consultative Association of Malawi will undertake various activities aimed at bringing awareness about pension and insurance.
The activities, according to Kabambe, will include: roadshows and storming of selected markets in the cities of Blantyre, Lilongwe and Mzuzu; radio and television messages on pension and insurance; pension workshops for union leaders; and insurance products exhibitions at various places in Blantyre, Lilongwe and Mzuzu.
Early this year Vice President, Saulos Chilima, challenged insurers in the country to be more innovative to boost insurance penetration in the country.
Speaking during the Insurance Institute of Malawi Charter Dinner held under the theme Business Unusual, Chilima said Malawi’s insurance penetration is very minimal when compared to other countries.
Chilima said in South Africa, insurance penetration is at 16.9 percent, Namibia 6.7 percent, and the United Kingdom is at 10.5 percent.
“We, therefore, seriously need business unusual ideas to turn our industry around and grow it.
“We need to innovate and develop new ways and practices that will turn the industry around and make significant contribution to the development of our country,” Chilima said.