Globalization and Its Impact: Foreign Insurance Professionals Shaping Local Insurance Practices

A study of colonial history of the United Kingdom shows that its economy depended, for many years, largely, on the income derived from insurance on shipping and banking for the balance of their trade. Hence, the establishment of overseas branch offices of United Kingdom Insurance Companies in Ghana and other West Africa countries. Shortly after the Gold Coast had attained political independence from the United Kingdom, a private insurance company named Ghana General Insurance Company (with some Ghanaian and American shareholders) was established in 1958. In the early years until 1961, there was no local legislation governing the transaction of insurance in Ghana. (Afriyie, 2018).
In 1978, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in collaboration with the five English speaking West African countries established the West Africa Insurance Institute (WAII). This institute was providing a one year Diploma course in Insurance. The European lecturers were loaned from the Insurance and Reinsurance Companies which were doing business in Africa and West Africa. By the year 2007, two hundred and seven (207) Ghanaians had undertaken the one year middle management course at the West African Insurance Institute (Afriyie, 2018).
Furthermore, I entered the Ghana Insurance industry in the year 2007. In the year 2013, I obtained my first insurance professional qualification from a foreign institution. Many of the topics covered were not directly applicable to our market. Understanding some examples in the textbooks proved to be quite challenging. At that time, there was limited opportunity to engage with foreign professionals to clarify certain topics. Consequently, I had to rely on self-study and then sit for the exams independently.
The Ghanaian insurance industry, which was comparatively small many years ago, has since developed and continues to grow. While insurance penetration may not have increased significantly due to growth in other sectors, insurance coverage has now reached a record high of 44%. These figures could be improved, and this will depend on our collective efforts as an industry.
In Ghana, most communities often have to find ways of coping with losses arising from major hazards such as fire, flood, drought, road accidents, pest infestation, and diseases. The findings from the study on Ghana’s insurance industry reveal that despite the country’s favourable environment for insurance and risk financing, about 70% of Ghanaians do not have access to any form of insurance. The study also shows that the insurance industry has provided insurance products that do not respond to the needs of the population. (UNDP, 2021).
Beyond the few challenges, the insurance industry holds bright prospects for investments. With oil and gas production taking shape, the sector is expected to grow. Also, the motor insurance business in the country is growing at appreciable levels. Another area to look at in the sector is the marine business. With the shipping and logistics business booming at the moment, marine insurance can be expected to witness a boom in the short term and that could serve as a good bait for investors (Marcopolis, 01/13/2016).
It is not just about investors coming in but another major challenge is building the capacity and ethics of insurance professionals in Ghana. This is where the Ghana Insurance industry needs to leverage on foreign professional institutions for training and networking. This could open up for policy documents, underwriting guidelines, claims handling procedures, and information on other insurance technologies to be shared.
One such professional body that is very well engaging is the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters Society in the United States of America (CPCU). The primary objectives of the CPCU Society are to organize educational seminars, workshops, and webinars to enhance the knowledge and skills of insurance professionals and facilitate networking opportunities for professionals to exchange ideas, foster collaborations, and promote innovation in the industry. Again, the CPCU Society engages in community outreach and corporate social responsibility activities, promoting insurance literacy and awareness. It also strives to be a strong voice for the insurance sector, advocating for policies and regulations that enhance the industry’s growth and stability. According to Douglas Adams, human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so. This is why it is important to learn from others.
Globalization which refers to the interdependence of economies, cultures, and populations brought about by cross-border trade in technology, goods & services, flows of people, investment, and information has also made it easier to learn, collaborate, grow, create job opportunities through exchange programs and many other benefits. It involves constantly moving goods, languages, services, ideas, and information (Skuad, 2024).
The Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter Society has established a West Africa Candidate Chapter of the Society in Ghana, and the global President has chosen to visit Ghana. I hope that the Ghana insurance industry takes advantage of her visit to build proper collaboration with insurance professionals from the United States of America and explore opportunities for enhancing the capacity of local insurance professionals and practice.

UNDP (09/30/21) 70% of Ghana have no access to insurance, report
Marcopolis (01/13/2016) Ghana’s Insurance Industry: Challenges and Opportunities for the Investor
Sandeep P. (2024), Benefits and Challenges of Globalization,
Afriyie D.K. (2018), The Emergence of Insurance in Ghana, pg. 1,9,20, 23, 24

About the Author
Justice Peprah Agyei
Chartered Insurance Practitioner || MPhil || CPCU|| ACII || ACIIG || BA (Hons) || Writer   The writer is a Chartered Insurance Practitioner of United State of America, USA, United Kingdom, UK and Ghana (CPCU, ACII, ACIIG), and holds MPhil in Enterprise Risk Management and Business Consulting from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, attained Bachelor’s degree from University of Ghana, Legon and have Applied Insurance studies, Diploma and Advanced Diploma (AAIS & AIS) from Ghana Insurance College / Malta Insurance Training Institute with 15years industrial experience. His interest lies in insurance, risk and data analysis. Justice Peprah AGYEI, CPCU, ACII, ACIIG, MPhil, BA (0208498571) Follow and Like "Talk Insurance with Justice" on LinkedIn and also "The Insurance Classroom" on Facebook and YouTube to learn more on insurance.