Around 500 participants and experts worldwide are expected to convene in the 8th International Microfinance Conference to discuss the challenges of microinsurance to be held for the first time in Tanzania this week.
The event will be hosted by the Munich Re Foundation and the Microinsurance Network, supported by local and foreign organisations including Tanzania Insurance Regulatory Authority (TIRA), International Labour Organisation (ILO), African Development Bank (AfDB), International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation (ICMIF) and FinMark Trust.
According to a TIRA senior official, Eliezer Rweikiza, the three-day conference will be held in Dar es Salaam starting today.
He said in a statement issued recently in Dar es Salaam that participants will include representatives of insurance and reinsurance firms, international organisations, NGOs and development-aid agencies as well as academics, policymakers and supervisory regulators.
Discussions during the conference will focus on various topics namely status of the provision of health micro insurance to the poor in terms of outreach and acceptance, how solutions including PPPs can be designed to meet the needs of the poor?
The conference will also discuss how social security schemes can leverage the expertise and efficiency of the private sector.
Other topics are how it is possible to deal with the limited availability of even basic health services in rural areas, effective sustainability strategies for health micro insurance schemes, one limit adverse selection and moral hazard and how one can increase benefits, including outpatient cover and pharmaceuticals.
Experts say micro insurance is growing rapidly, and is finding itself in an intense learning phase in which lessons are eagerly awaited by all stakeholders.
Given the relative youth of the field and the sheer complexity of the issues it addresses, it is not surprising that some micro insurance projects fail, they say.
Since mistakes could easily be avoided if they were evident, presentations will focus on failures and the lessons to be learnt from them, he said.
Rweikiza said the year 2012 is the United Nations International Year of Cooperatives (IYC).
Presentations will focus on the advantages and disadvantages of providing micro insurance through cooperative and mutual insurers and their contribution to reducing poverty and providing value to the client, he said.
They will highlight the strengths and challenges of the cooperative business model as an alternative means of providing insurance and furthering socio-economic development, he added.