High-profile guests celebrate ATI’s Tanzania opening
DAR ES SALAAM, 9 April, 2010
As ATI prepares to bring its financial clout to Tanzania with a 2009 insurance portfolio valued at $254 million, Tanzania's private sector leaders came out in force to support the Agency's local launch at the Kempinski hotel. The list of distinguished guests included the Honourable Mustafa Mkulo, Minister for Finance & Economic Affairs, Bernard Kamillius Membe, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, and Dr. Mary Michael Nagu, Minister for Industry, Trade and Marketing. Dr. Evans Rweikiza, the Executive Director of the Tanzania Private Sector Foundation whose organisation will host ATI's local office, also joined heads of banks, regional organisations and ambassadors to celebrate the opening.
"We will need to educate the business community about these unique insurance products because they can support, in real terms, investors and exporters and ultimately Tanzania's economic development," explained Israel Kamuzora, the Chairman of ATI's Board of Directors, who is also the Insurance Commissioner for Tanzania.
ATI's support is seen as key to bringing in additional foreign direct investments into Tanzania - a move that will be important particularly during an election year when foreign investors have traditionally shied away from African markets for fear of political risks. With political risk insurance products, ATI is able to protect investors that may be interested in doing business in Tanzania regardless of the time frame.
"I believe that Tanzania's business community will see immediate benefits that should help encourage investors to put their money into Tanzania while also helping local exporters branch out into broader markets," commented Dr. Rweikiza, the head of Tanzania's Private Sector Foundation.
Another distinctive product has allowed regional insurers to pass on affordable insurance protection to their clients against the risk of damage to property and investments caused by political violence, terrorism and sabotage. Through a partnership with the multi-billion dollar Lloyds of London Market, an international insurance syndicate, ATI has been able to provide reinsurance support to three regional insurers valued at over $1billion.
"Typically, during an election year, African countries can experience reduced foreign direct investments and tied to this, reduced lending periods by banks, which tend to peg their lending cycles to an election cycle. This translates into less money in the economy, which impacts all aspects of a country's development," noted Stewart Kinloch, ATI's Acting Chief Executive.
In Tanzania, ATI plans to tackle a pipeline of projects valued at $80 million in the sectors of energy, textiles, manufacturing, and banking and financial services. The local offices will be co-located with the Tanzania Private Sector Foundation and headed by Albert Rweyemamu, a former Tanzanian Central Banker before joining ATI in 2006.
In addition to Tanzania, ATI has local offices in Kampala, Uganda and Lusaka, Zambia. The Agency plans additional office launches in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Rwanda, and a possible regional office in West Africa by 2011. This expansion is part of a broader strategy that may see ATI generating insurance cover for investments and trade in Africa valued at over $1billion annually. The Agency plans to announce its record-breaking 2009 results at its upcoming Annual General Meeting in Kinshasa, DRC on 19 May, 2010.