Home » Industry » Fidelity to End Joint Venture With S Sudanese Insurer

FIDELITY Life Assurance of Zimbabwe has started the process of dissolving its joint venture with South Sudanese short-term insurer, National Insurance Company of South Sudan. “We are in a transition . . . the joint venture was an interim structure it was a condition by the Reserve Bank that we should eventually move away from the current structure and this is what we are doing,” managing director Mr Simon Chapereka said.

Fidelity and National Insurance Company of South Sudan formed a partnership on a 50-50 percent shareholding basis last year and the firm has since started writing insurance business in the world’s newest country.

Mr Chapereka said the civil war in the country has slowed progress the company had hoped to achieve since it commenced.

But this is “a temporary setback” with the company confident the situation will improve.

Three years after South Sudan gained independence from Sudan following five decades of war, the country is in serious crisis that was triggered by infighting between government troops and rebel forces, which began on December 15 last year.

About 750 000 children have been internally displaced and more than 320 000 have fled to neighbouring countries. Some 400 000 are out of school and child malnutrition rates have more than doubled, according to UNICEF. The country needs as much as $600 million by February next year to feed 4,1 million people in need of aid.

“Of course this has affected the speed of implementing the project but we are confident that a peace deal would be reached soon,” said Mr Chapereka. “We had stopped putting in additional capital into the company, analysing the situation. We are however upbeat about the business opportunities there despite the prevailing situation.”

Mr Chapereka said the company will inject an additional $500 000 into the business and has since received an approval from the central bank. “The growth potential is immense”, he added.

In its financials for six months to June 30, the ZSE listed company said the South Sudanese venture “shows great potential to significantly contribute to the group’s profitability.”

Fidelity Life was one of the first Zimbabwean assurance companies to take up opportunities in the region. This has seen the company grow to become a regional player in the life assurance and associated business arena.

Source : The Herald