CAMEROON —IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has partnered with Activa Assurances to launch an a new insurance program in Cameroon that aims to will boost insurance coverage among women.

According to a statement from IFC, Activa Assurances expects the new program called Activ’Lady to benefit 1 million women by 2022.

Under the program, Activa Assurances will provide women entrepreneurs and traders—or buyam-sellams—with insurance to protect them against disruptive events in life or business operations.

The insurance company will also provide women on the program with training that will enable them to expand their businesses.

Women entrepreneurs enrolled on the program will have access to a web portal that will provide them with a range of information and services, such as training and tool kits and access to networks to expand their businesses.

Women market traders will access a holistic protection package covering their health as well as the management and protection of their merchandise from weather and thefts.

IFC and Activa expects the program to increase insurance penetration in Cameroon, which currently stands at less than 2 percent.

“There is both a business and social case for integrating gender and targeting women in inclusive insurance,” said Aliou Maiga, IFC’s Director for West and Central Africa.

“Women are critical to the economic growth of our region, making sure they are equipped with strong risk protection mechanisms will further enable them to be active players in the development of Cameroon.”

Richard Lowe, Executive Chairman of Activa Group, said, “Financial security and empowerment gives women real opportunities and choices about their lives and those of their loved ones.”

“Activa, through the program Activ’ Lady, the first Women Insurance Program in Cameroon—is committed to tackling the obstacles that might restrict women from building their financial security and will focus on practical solutions to help improve their lives.”

 IFC and Activa International Insurance Ghana have already launched a similar program in Ghana aimed at increasing insurance coverage for women particularly those in business.

The two programs, both called Activ’Lady, follow an IFC-led study that found the insurance industry can earn up to $1.7 trillion globally by 2030 if it focused on women alone, with 50 percent of this opportunity coming from emerging markets. 

Activ’Lady Cameroon is partly funded by the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi), which invests in programs and projects that help unlock financing to address barriers facing women entrepreneurs.

Since 2016, IFC has been working with insurers across emerging markets to develop specific approaches to address the needs of women at various stages of their lives.

The Activ’Lady program follows similar partnerships with insurers in Nigeria, the Philippines and Ghana aimed at increasing insurance penetration among women while at the same time creating income-generating opportunities for women as insurance employees, advisors, and distributors.