The Insurance Regulatory Authority of Uganda (IRA) hosted a two-man delegation from the Tanzania Insurance Regulatory Authority (TIRA) that was in the country on a scheduled benchmarking visit.
The delegation comprised of Mr. Abubakar Ndwata, the Director Supervision and Ms. Gladness Lema, the Regional Manager.
The July 22 visit sought to enable TIRA to understudy how IRA is preparing to tap into the oil and gas sector, to which it has made tremendous progress, following the establishment of the Oil and Gas Consortium in 2016.
Under the Consortium, insurance companies have teamed up to pool resources together to cover risks in the oil and gas sector. The pooling of resources seeks to make local insurance players more capitalised to handle any risks in the oil and gas sector.
This is because the oil and gas is a risky sector and sometimes it can be hard for one insurer to handle the risks individually.
Over the years, these insurance firms have invested in building capacity to insure oil and gas risks and it is this that attracted TIRA to come and benchmark.
The benchmarking visit allowed the team to study and appreciate Uganda’s insurance industry’s oil and gas consortium, regulation and legal regimes.
Speaking on behalf of the IRA Chief Executive Officer, the Director, Planning, Research and Market Development Mr. Protazio Sande commended TIRA for choosing to study the Uganda Insurance Industry’s best practices in the oil and gas sector, saying it was as an honour.
“When it comes to comparing facts, regulation and other issues across the region, we are always available because we are brothers. That is why your request to benchmark was accepted without any hesitation. It is an honour to share the little we have learnt and also capture your views to make us better,” Mr. Sande said.
He added: “It is my hope that the objective of your bench-making will be met.”
Mr. Ndwata said that with the discovery of oil and gas reserves in Tanzania, they are in the process of establishing a consortium to insure these risks.
“We want to set up a consortium and we are told that in Uganda the consortium arrangement is working well. So we thought that we should come and benchmark. We want to see the practical aspects of how this is done and how it is regulated,” Mr. Ndwata said.
The TIRA team also held a meeting with industry players, who shared their challenges under this arrangement to enable TIRA pick lessons. TIRA was advised to be deliberate on local content and work with other stakeholders to ensure that all the laws speak to each other and protect local content.
Ugandan players also learnt some lessons from TIRA, including making it mandatory to insure commercial buildings and public markets against fire and public liability as it is in Tanzania.