By Sylvester Samba.
Africell Corporate Affairs Officer, Joe Abass Bangura has informed journalists at a press conference yesterday held at the company’s headquarters in Wilberforce that in line with their proud tradition of always taking the lead at the cutting edge of technological innovation in the telecommunications industry in the country, “Africell is pleased to announce today, the formal launch of Sierra Leone’s first Mobile life Insurance Product-in partnership with GRAS SAVOYE and ACTIVA International.
Mr. Bangura also said the launched of the product is a response to the country’s four-year National Strategy for Financial Inclusion, adding that the findings of the study done to support “this strategy indicates that only 13% of the adult population in the country have access to formal financial services like savings, credit and insurance… This strategy also indicates that the excluded populations are given the ability to access these financial services”.
He further explained that with more than 75% households in Sierra Leone having access to mobile phones, the Financial Inclusion Strategy quite aptly identified Digital Financial Services as a key tool to promote financial inclusion. Africell Corporate Affairs Officer added that Africell as market leader is therefore very delighted to be the first company in the country to lunch a Mobile Life Insurance Product thus, adding to “our long lists of FIRSTS in the market”.
Mr. Bangura maintained that the need for life-Insurance and obstacles to its growth
for low income families in emerging markets in countries like Sierra Leone, the loss of a bread winner in a family, can bring severe financial setbacks; with the ripple effect across the whole family. “Despite this obvious risk, less than five percent of low income families in emerging markets have life insurance policies… Four major causes have been identified to be responsible for this situation: Affordability: traditional life insurance is too expensive; Accessibility: people in remote locations for example, don’t have the means to access these services; Education: people don’t know how life insurance policies can benefit them; Trust: people do not trust that their claims will be paid”.
He noted the Africell Life Insurance Product has been designed to overcome these obstacles. Explaining the product details, he stated that
with very low annual premiums of just Le,50,000 per annum (less than Le,140/day). Beneficiaries of the Africell Mobile Life Insurance will be eligible to claim Le.7, 5000,000 upon the death of the policy holder.
In the area of eligibility criteria, Mr. Bangura said to be eligible, subscribers must be an Africell user registered with Africell Money Service, must have a minimum of Le50, 000 in his/her Africell Money Account and must be aged between 18-45 years (one will have to subscribe before they reach 45years).
“How to subscribe, you can subscribe via a mobile phone app… The link to download the App is currently available on the Africell Facebook and Instagram pages and will subsequently be available on Goggle Play and the App Store”.