PIC: The insurance sector believes working with universities will help boost human capital
As Uganda prepares for minerals extraction, the demand for insurance professionals is expected to significantly increase, exerting a lot of pressure on the sector’s lean human capital.
Industry estimates put the number of professionals at 538, thus negatively affecting growth, which is currently at less than 1%.
According to the Insurance Institute of Uganda (IIU), partnering with universities to sensitise students and design new courses will help in bridging the gap within the next four years.
“We already have a university that is ready to offer insurance as a discipline, and we shall work together to see that such efforts spread all over the country for the sake of the sector,” Soul Seremba, the IIU chief executive, said.
He was speaking on the sidelines of the launch of the Bugema University Insurance Club at their main campus in Luwero district.
Last year, the two institutions signed a memorandum of understanding to partner in designing and implementing insurance education materials.
Seremba said the partnership will also help in skilling human capital in the health insurance sector, ahead of the national Health Insurance Scheme rollout.
According to the health ministry, the Government hopes to reduce morbidity and mortality of people living in Uganda from avoidable illnesses and boost human capital development, with the scheme in place.
The scheme is also expected to relieve ordinary Ugandans from directly pulling money out of their pockets to spend on medical bills.
Recently, Seremba said, the institute also partnered with the International Health Sciences University in Namuwongo to create a pool of skilled health insurance professionals to support the sector.
He said under the arrangement, the institute will work with universities in research, as they look for solutions that are relevant to the needs of the public.
“We have been conducting career talks in secondary schools to encourage people to embrace insurance at a tender age, but now we need to look to universities, because soon the students will become employable,” he said.
Bugema University vice-chancellor Prof. Patrick Manu said the insurance sector must build capacity in emerging areas and develop products that meet customer expectations.
He noted that so far, the industry is yet to make strides in microfinance, bank assurance and oil and gas, which offer great opportunities for penetration, employment, innovation, and economic growth for the country.
He said the partnership will also provide students a chance to interact with insurance professionals who may in turn spark their interest to seek a career in the sector.
“The insurance industry needs skills from all professions, and the best way to trap them is by attracting them from school,” he said.
Statistics indicate Uganda’s insurance industry registered a 12 % growth in the first half of 2017 compared with the same period in 2016.
The growth was driven by increased uptake in agriculture, life, bonds, public liability and engineering insurance products.