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IFC Invests in Activa to Support Increased Access to Insurance in West and Central Africa

Douala, Cameroon, July 25, 2013 - IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is investing $6 million in Activa, an insurance group operating in Cameroon, Ghana, and other countries in the region,  to help increase access to insurance for  farmers, smaller businesses, and lower-income individuals.
IFC’s equity investment will help Activa expand into new markets in West and Central Africa, where few are able to access or afford insurance products because of weak distribution channels, high transactions costs, lack of product innovation, and low consumer financial literacy.
With IFC’s backing, Activa plans to offer innovative products, such as weather risk insurance for farmers, micro-insurance for lower income beneficiaries, and mobile insurance, where the insurance product is distributed via network operators.
Yolande Duhem, IFC Director for West and Central Africa, said, “A key focus of IFC’s financial services strategy for sub-Saharan Africa is to support regional insurers who aim to achieve mass market coverage and expand their operations in other countries. Insurance is an essential social safety net in case of an accident or any other adverse event affecting households or businesses.”
Richard Lowé, CEO of Activa Group said: “Our ambition is to expand and diversify our successful business model. Through our partnership with IFC, we are extremely well positioned to take advantage of the many growth opportunities in the African markets with very low insurance penetration through the development of products designed to cover low-income population and small businesses and the use of innovative distribution channels. This partnership will help us as well in our ambition to apply modern, robust and effective governance and compliance rules.”
IFC is currently engaged in a World Bank Group-wide effort to better understand the challenges of insurance in emerging markets and to help local regulators and industry players overcome them.
About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, mobilizing capital in international financial markets, and providing advisory services to businesses and governments. In FY12, our investments reached an all-time high of more than $20 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs, spark innovation, and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit .
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