Sanlam and Allianz Insurance Companies in Ghana receive final No Objection from the Regulator to merge

The SanlamAllianz Group is pleased to announce that it has received a final no objection from the National Insurance Commission (NIC) to proceed with the planned merger between Sanlam Life Insurance Ghana LTD and Allianz Life Insurance Ghana LTD, as well as Sanlam General Insurance Ghana LTD and Allianz Insurance Ghana LTD.

This follows the announcement in September 2023 of the closing of the SanlamAllianz joint venture, which covers 27 countries across Africa for a combined enterprise value of nearly US$ 2 billion.

An exciting new journey

The merger between Sanlam and Allianz will allow the Ghanaian market to benefit from the combined expertise of two major financial services groups, which are known and recognised on an African and a global scale and carry more than 200 years of cumulative experience in Africa and beyond.

‘We are confident that our merged businesses in Ghana will create significant value for our clients, shareholders and other stakeholders. The combined expertise and resources of our res
pective companies will enable us to provide innovative solutions and services to meet the ever-evolving needs of our clients,’ says Heinie Werth, CEO of SanlamAllianz.

The merger is also expected to contribute significantly to the overall development of the Ghanaian insurance market, thanks to an innovative range of products and services adapted to all market segments.

Given the SanlamAllianz Group’s growth strategy and diversified financial services capabilities, the organisation’s combined business in Ghana presents various opportunities for operational synergies, creating significant potential for value creation that will benefit the sector, its clients, agents, brokers and partners, as well as its employees.

The Sanlam Life Insurance Ghana is focused on providing specialist life insurance services leveraging on the capacity, expertise, experience, exposure and the financial strength of the biggest non-banking financial services Group on the African continent.

Sanlam General Insurance Ghana offers inno
vative insurance solutions, which cut across all segments of the economy. These include Motor Insurance, Asset All Risks, Marine Insurance, Home Insurance, SME Insurance, Fire and Other Perils among others.

Allianz Ghana, made up of Allianz Life Insurance Ghana LTD and Allianz Insurance Ghana Limited are subsidiaries of the Allianz Group. The Allianz Group is one of the world’s leading insurers and asset managers with around 125 million* private and corporate customers in nearly 70 countries.

Having launched its operations in 2018, Allianz Life Ghana LTD is currently a Top 9 life insurance on the market, offering various life insurance solutions for retail, corporate, SME, banks, and partners such as MTN and Société Generale Ghana.

Allianz Insurance, the general insurance provider, offers solutions and services in Motor, Home, Travel, Injury, and Disability Insurance to the Ghanaian market.

In addition, it underwrites SME, Public Liability, Asset, Construction, Transport, and Cyber Crime Insurance. Alli
anz Insurance has bancassurance partnerships with Société Generale Ghana, Ecobank Ghana, Consolidated Bank Ghana, and United Bank Africa.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Fidelity Bank announces Agric-Tech Competition to inspire innovation

Fidelity Bank Ghana, the largest privately-owned indigenous bank, has announced a dedicated space for Agric-Tech within the Fidelity Young Entrepreneurs Fund (FYEF) through an upcoming Agric-Tech competition.

This initiative aims to support the development of groundbreaking solutions that address pressing challenges faced by players in the Ghanaian agriculture value chain.

Julian Opuni, Managing Director at Fidelity Bank, made this announcement during the Agriculture and Fintech Forum at the just ended 3i Africa Summit.

The forum, hosted by Fidelity Bank, brought together stakeholders to bridge the gap between agriculture and fintech and showcase how technology can overcome longstanding barriers in the agricultural value chain.

In his keynote address titled, ‘Seeding Innovation: The Convergence of Agriculture and FinTech in Africa’, Mr. Opuni emphasised the crucial role of the youth in driving technological adoption and innovation within the agricultural sector.

He highlighted the demographic advantage o
f Africa, where 60% of the population is under 25 years old, but noted the underutilisation of this potential due to the perception of agriculture as an unappealing profession for the young.

‘Africa’s youth, aged under 25, make up 60% of the population, with over 200 million young people residing on the continent,’ Mr. Opuni stated. ‘Despite this demographic advantage, the agriculture sector remains largely untapped by Africa’s youth, who often view farming as a profession for the elderly.’

Mr. Opuni the urged the changing of this perception and equipping young Ghanaians with the necessary support and resources to actively participate in the sector’s transformation.

‘This will not only address youth unemployment but also ensure the sustainability and growth of Africa’s agricultural sector,’ he declared.

Building upon the existing FYEF program, which provides financial and non-financial support to youth-led businesses, particularly, those in the agriculture sector, a dedicated space for Agric-Tech will be
carved out within the FYEF framework.

‘Access to opportunities that drive innovation is key to motivating youth involvement in Agric-Tech,’ Mr. Opuni explained. ‘This Agric-Tech competition aims to incentivise the development of innovative solutions that will address critical issues faced by Ghanaian agriculture, ultimately leading to a revolutionized sector.’

Mr. Opuni acknowledged the numerous challenges hindering Africa’s agricultural productivity, including limited investment, inadequate resources, and a lack of access to technology and funding.

He pointed out the risk aversion of financial institutions due to historically high non-performing loan rates in the agricultural sector. However, he called for open dialogue between banks, stakeholders, and policymakers.

‘This forum represents a critical step forward,’ Mr. Opuni declared. ‘By fostering collaboration, we can work towards building a data-driven ecosystem. This will allow banks to more accurately assess risk, design targeted financial products f
or farmers, and ultimately bridge the financing gap for agricultural businesses.’

The forum also showcased Fidelity Bank’s dedication to advancing agricultural development. Divisional Director, Retail and Business Banking, Nana Esi Idun-Arkhurst, participated in a panel discussion focused on integrating technological and financial innovation to reduce risk within the African agricultural value chain.

Additionally, Head of Partnerships, Sustainability and CSR, Nana Yaa Afriyie Ofori-Koree at Fidelity Bank, joined another panel discussion exploring the potential of Measurement, Reporting, and Verification (MRV) technology in unlocking financial flows for sustainable agricultural production in Ghana.

‘Fidelity Bank’s leadership in the Agriculture and Fintech Forum at the 3i Africa Summit, coupled with the creation of a dedicated Agric-Tech space within the FYEF program, demonstrates a strong commitment to supporting young innovators and fostering a more vibrant and technologically advanced agricultural sector
in Ghana.’

The three-day summit opened on Monday, May 13.

It was targeted at players in the African digital economy to catalyse investments and foster economic growth across the continent.

More than 4,000 players participated in the Summit that also aimed to generate partnerships for sustainable development.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Ethiopian Airlines Inaugurates Renovated, Expanded Domestic Passenger Terminal

Addis Ababa: The Ethiopian Airlines Group has inaugurated its renovated and expanded Domestic Passenger Terminal today.

During the occasion, Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO, Mesfin Tassew said the airline has spent 50 million USD for the renovation and expansion of the terminal, which increases its capacity by more than 100 percent.

Beyond increasing its capacity, the goal of Ethiopian Airlines is to provide an international level of services to our domestic passengers, he said.

This focus on passenger experience aligns with the airline’s broader vision of solidifying Ethiopia’s position as a global tourism destination.

So, he added that it is our dream and vision to continue expanding our domestic air transport service for the benefit of Ethiopians and tourists who are coming to Ethiopia to visit the exciting destinations of the country.

“The renovation and expansion of the terminal was intended to cope up with the growing demand of domestic transport service. Ethiopian Airlines has a strong commitment to
continue enhancing the development and expansion of domestic air transport, which is vital for both the social and economic development of the country. As you know, we are investing a lot to construct new airport runways at this time, we are constructing five and we’re also upgrading terminal facilities in other domestic airports, ” the CEO elaborated.

Tourism Minister Nasisie Chali said that the inauguration of the renovated and expanded domestic passenger terminal is crucial for Ethiopia’s image building and tourism.

Any such development efforts by Ethiopian Airlines have direct bearing on tourism sector of the country, she said.

Ethiopian Transport and Logistics State Minister, Bareo Hassen on his part said Ethiopian Airlines is playing key role in the transport and logistics sector.

The renovation and expansion of the terminal will increase its services and competition, he added.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency

Ethiopian Champions in Liberalizing Air Transport, Open African Air Transport Market: AFRAA Consulting Director

Addis Ababa: Ethiopian Airlines has always championed in liberalizing air transport connectivity and opening African Air Transport Market, African Airlines Association (AFRAA) Consulting Director said.

In an exclusive interview with ENA, Consulting Director, Government, Legal and Industry Affairs at AFRAA, Raphael Kuuchi said Ethiopian Airline even long before the AU had come up with a concept of a Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM)

The SAATM is a flagship project of the African Union Agenda 2063, to create a single unified air transport market in Africa, the liberalisation of civil aviation in Africa and as an impetus to the continent’s economic integration agenda.

“It has consistently championed for the need to open up the market so that we can have open space for airlines to be able to travel, to operate freely and support the economic development and connectivity of this continent,” the director stated.

This has paid off significantly thus far, he said, adding today Ethiopian is the biggest a
irline operating on the African continent.

“We want to see other airlines also to come up to where the Ethiopian Airlines is. Ethiopian is not just comfortable being the only one, and the biggest on the continent. Ethiopian is going ahead and supporting other African airlines so that they too can come up because together we are stronger. That is the philosophy.”

Raphael reiterated that we are all behind Ethiopian Airlines so that it can be able to support other African airlines to get where they are not only operationally but also in terms of technical and operational support, making sure that they get equipment and other facilities available.

Moreover, he pointed out that Africa is probably the last continent to fully liberalize air transport connectivity.

“Without liberalization of the air transport market in an internal air transport market in Africa, the airlines will continue to struggle to get passengers and will continue to struggle to grow.”

Hence, the Single African Air Transport Market is an AU
initiative to help all African countries open up their air spaces so that we have Africa as a domestic market, he added.

This way we can have African airlines operate more freely, take advantage of the air traffic connectivity across the continent and be able to grow their businesses, become stronger and more competitive against non-African airlines.

On other hand, he noted that the implementation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area is also another opportunity.

“If we liberalize our market, we are able to trade among ourselves and improve the movement of people and facilities,” he underlined.

He stressed we want to see that Africans are able to travel across other African countries, either without visas or visas on arrival, or the acquisition of those visas much easier.

According to him, this way the continent will have more travel, connectivity and trade amongst each others.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency

Senior Federal Gov’t Officials in Semera to Visit Development Projects

Addis Ababa: Senior federal government officials arrived in Samara this morning to conduct field visits on various ongoing development projects in the Afar regional state.

The officials are expected to visit drinking water and sanitation schemes, summer wheat cultivation activities and irrigation development projects in the region.

Minister of Water and Energy Engineer Habtamu Itefa, Minister of Agriculture, Girma Amente , Minister of Irrigation and Lowlands, Engineer Aisha Mohammed and other government officials were among members of the delegation.

The visit was intended to have observation on the progress of ongoing projects in various districts of the region that will benefit the rural community.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency