Following the concurrence of the Committee of Governors of the West African Monetary Zone at their 43rd meeting on August 26, 2021, the West African Insurance Supervisors Association (WAISA) has established the College of Insurance Supervisors for the West African Monetary Zone (CISWAM Z).
Nigeria’s Pius Agboola who is the Director, Inspectorate Directorate at the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) was elected as the Chairman of the new body at its inaugural meeting on February 22, 2022.
The objective of the college is to strengthen cross border insurance supervision through information sharing and investigative assistance, which are in conformity with International Association of Insurance Supervision (IAIS) principles, minimizing fraudulent activities in the insurance sector in accordance with the Financial Action Task force (FATF) principles on Anti-Money Laundering.
The College emphasizes, among others, the importance of fostering closer relationship by creating an enabling environment for the insurance sector to flourish most especially through collaboration; Harmonization of regulatory standards; Increasing operation of cross border network by branches and/or offshore subsidiaries in the insurance sector.
The importance of CISWAMZ is further buttressed by the overreaching objective behind the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AFCFTA) by accelerating intra-African trade and providing a single market for goods and services, facilitated by movement of persons in order to deepen the economic integration and prosperity on the Continent as well as boosting Africa’s trading position in theglobal market by strengthening Africa’s common voice and policy space in global trade negotiations.
The CISWAMZ is expected to greatly enhance multilateral cooperation and promotion of international standards in fostering favorable investment environments and orderly markets in the West African sub region and beyond.
The insurance industry, like other components of the financial system, is changing in response to a wide range of social and economic forces. In particular, insurance and insurance-linked financial activities are increasingly crossing national and sectorial boundaries.
Consequently, the efficient and timely exchange of information among supervisory bodies, both within the insurance sector and across the financial services sector within the West African sub region is critical to the effective supervision of internationally active insurers, insurance groups and financial conglomerates which is also essential in the context for the effective supervision of the financial system as a whole.