The Ghana Insurers Association (GIA) has inducted into office, Mrs Aretha Abena Abrafi Duku, as the first female President of the Association.
By the investiture, Ms Duku, whose father, Nana Agyei Duku, was the first President of GIA, becomes the 10th President of the Association.
At an investiture ceremony held in Accra on Thursday, a 11-member new Board of Directors, chaired by Ms Duku was also sworn into office.
Ms Duku, presently the Managing Director of Ghana Union Assurance (GUA) Company, having held the position of Deputy Managing Director of GUA for over 12 years, took over from Mr Ivan Avereyireh, immediate past President.
Addressing the gathering, Ms Mona Hellen Quartey, Deputy Minister of Finance, congratulated Ms Duku for her remarkable achievement, and commended the inroads that ladies continue to make to the top ranks of the Ghanaian insurance industry.
She cited the instance where for the third successive time, three women had climbed into the helm of affairs as Commissioners of Insurance and have proved themselves worthy of the position.
“May I take this opportunity to salute and congratulate all women holding Chief Executive and Senior Management positions in our insurance and broking companies.
I hope our men friends do not feel threatened but appreciate the immense contributions of these professionally competent and managerially excellent women to the industry”, Ms Quartey said.
The Deputy Finance Minister urged the incoming President of GIA to attach serious thought to higher ethical customer service standards.
‘Improving the image and public confidence in your industry depends among other things on how promptly and fairly you deliver on your promise to pay claims and how customer friendly your processes and procedures are to your esteemed customers” she said.
She urged GIA to well explain the importance of insurance to the public, to help improve the knowledge of the citizenry on insurance, saying if people are aware and ready to use insurance products, it would increase the current insurance penetration rate of two per cent.
She said government on its parts would continue to provide the enabling environment for all businesses including the insurance market in order to thrive, saying, the New Insurance Bill which was being reviewed by stakeholders seeks to address emerging insurance issues and prioritize licensing for specialized insurance such as micro-insurance.
Ms Quartey called on the industry and the regulator to expedite action on the passage of the Bill to enhance the legislative and operational environment that would ensure that insurance awareness and business thrives in Ghana.
Ms Lydia Lariba Bawa, Commissioner of Insurance, also welcomed the new GIA Board led by Ms Duku to the roundtable of insurance and asked them to help grow the insurance penetration while looking out for the interest and protection of policyholders.
She said the National Insurance Commission (NIC) is poised to significantly improve the capacity and efficiency of the insurance companies, improve the insurance service delivery, and eventually grow the insurance penetration.
Ms Duku said her presidency would ensure a stronger collaboration with stakeholders, especially with Ghana Insurance Brokers Association (GIBA) to create and harness the platform that would encourage self-regulation to help curb over-regulation.
“We need collaboration more than ever, we need cooperation to do it well, we can build a strong Association, lift the image of our industry and counter wrong public perception”, she said.
She said she would also work to ensure that insurance was brought to the door steps of everyone and made a preferred profession among the citizenry.
Ms Duku also expressed her desire to lead in the construction of a forensic lab to enable the Association sieve legitimate claims from illegitimate ones