Last month NamibRe celebrated its 19th anniversary of corporate existence.
September 2001 is an important date for NamibRe and the broader Namibian insurance industry, as the date is symbolic for the establishment of NamibRe through the Namibia National Reinsurance Corporation Limited (NamibRe) Act, Act 22 of 1998, with the mandate of curbing capital outflow from the nation through minimising the placement of insurance and reinsurance business outside the country. To date, the corporation has been prosperous in fulfilling this mandate.
Nineteen years back, NamibRe became operational with a capital injection of N$20 million and only seven staff members. Since then, the corporation has grown significantly to a staff complement of about 34 and has strengthened its capital base pointedly, notwithstanding the fact that it has managed to yield cumulative returns to the shareholder of over 875% on initial investment.
In 2017, the corporation was ranked amongst the top 27 reinsurance companies in Africa with an annual turnover at the time of over US$15 million. During the preceding five-year period the gross written premium of the corporation saw a significant increase approximating 341%, whereas growth in total assets over the same period amounted to 195%, as of 31 March 2020. With these stellar financial results, NamibRe is aiming for an improved continental reinsurer ranking for the year 2020, with the desired target of landing amongst the top 15.
The year 2020 has presented unique challenges as a result of Covid-19 and the resultant social and economic impacts thereof. The insurance industry as a mitigator of risk and a stout pillar in supporting financial stability is expressively impacted by this phenomenon, as the economy recovers and responds to the pandemic and insurers and reinsurers are expected to face copious challenges, it says.
Nevertheless, current circumstances are expected to provide many new opportunities for the industry in the medium to long-term. A lesson learnt, in the words of NamibRe’s managing director, Patty Karuaihe-Martin, is “not to take anything for granted” and to “remain strong, not to give up on the fight against the pandemic and continue to have hope.”
Karuaihe-Martin further remarked: “While it is not a time for celebration, it is important for us to reflect on the past and the future, appreciate and celebrate being healthy and alive every day.”
In spite of the continual insurmountable hurdles, it is important to acknowledge and appreciate that NamibRe has come a long way from being the only reinsurance company in Namibia, state-owned for that matter, to gaining continental prowess and recognition.
The corporation credits its success to its steadfast staff who have and will continue to play a vital role in the prosperity of the company. Additionally, the corporation recognises and extends its sincere gratitude to all stakeholders for their continued support and commitment to the NamibRe cause.