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Liberty Life on the age of technology

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This is the age of technology. Digital communication has permeated the entire fabric of social life. Business has not been spared either. Enterprises that will remain a going concern have no choice but to adapt. Liberty Life Botswana’s 2020 Strategy is conscious of this reality.

The insurance company strives to be a market leader in technology by continuing to launch more innovative, market leading insurance products, and increasing the quality and quantity of its omni-channel touch-points. In 2016 Liberty Online – a core insurance retail front end system through which sales agents can onboard customer information effectively and efficiently – was launched.

It can also be used similarly by the back end staff at various stages of the process. Recently, Business in a Box was launched- a ‘plug and play’ complete suite of a service especially useful in peri-urban areas, comprising of a laptop and other data capturing tools, for use by its agents remotely. These are amongst the few. Along with the rest of the world, Liberty is under no illusions about the technological future of insurance.

Last week it brought together key industry players for the 6th installment of the annual Insurance Business breakfast seminar. Greg Becker, Business Development Actuary for MunichRE and Parusha Partab, Senior Digital Strategist for Joe Public United both served as honorary guest speakers to share insurance industry insights under the theme: “Digital Disruption and the Impact of Technology on Insurance Underwriting.

”Opening the business breakfast seminar Lulu Rasebotsa, Managing Director for Liberty Life Botswana, testified of the increasing envelopment of technology in the finance industry. She acknowledged the increasing use of buzzwords such as ‘fintech’ in the industry.“InsurTech is a relatively recent buzzword in every discussion relating to digital insurance and underwriting across the world.

It is a term applied to the many segments of new technology that are disrupting the insurance space: these include technologies such as smartphone apps, consumer activity wearables, claim acceleration tools, individual consumer risk development systems, online policy handling, automated compliance processing, and more”, she expounded. She described how Liberty Life Botswana was adapting to the changing insurance landscape and the ways in which they have started adopting innovative technology, such as Business-In-Box tool, to launch market leading insurance products and increase the quality and quantity of their omni-channel touch-points.

Giving his presentation on the impact on a Healthy Lifestyle on insurance underwriting, Greg Becker outlined the various approaches that insurance companies will be likely to use in future to determine long term and short term insurance premiums. His presentation, “Fast Food and Fast Runners fitness or, just fitness trackers” explained innovative leads such as fitness tracker apps, genetics, and social media as ways in which insurance companies are now getting more information to place their clients in the right risk categories.

“People are on a spectrum- they have different underlying probabilities of claiming. Fitness tracker apps are therefore going to be revolutionary in insurance underwriting. Insurance companies are keener to cover fit/healthier people because we know they live longer. “The healthier you are the lower the risk and the lower the chance of claiming; the unhealthier you are the higher the risk and the higher the chance of claiming,” said Becker. In her presentation Parush Partab described the current technological landscape and how it is affecting the way in which humans are interacting with each other.

“The rapid progression of technology has changed our behaviour. The device in our pockets is an extension of our brains. Mobile access has fundamentally changed the way we think and it has given us voices and that is a very empowering thing”, explained Partab. She indicated that the current age of technology is disrupting a number of conventional financial models to the point that people have started participating in different ways and that through this empowerment, a powerful sense of democracy is prevailing that has never existed before.

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Matambo calls on financial sector to pick GDP

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Finance Minister, kenneth Matambo

Finance Minister Kenneth Matambo has announced that government is committed to support financial service sector to prop up the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Currently contributing over 13 percent to GDP, Matambo said the sector has potential to increase its share. “Hence government’s interest in the sector,” said Matambo addressing delegates at the inaugural Botswana Insurance Holdings Limited (BIHL), Global Financial Summit.

The country has built a strong, resilient and fast growing financial sector underpinned by a robust regulatory framework. The finance minister who is expected to step down next year, noted that government’s commitment to the financial service sector has this year been buttressed by a number of laws passed in July relating to money laundering activities.

In addition, Matambo said the continued investment in the development of information, communication and technologies (ICTs) backbone infrastructure is also to support local banks’ rising appetite for online services.

The Minister said the country remains committed to maintaining micro-economic stability to spur private sector participation in the economy. “Our vision is to become a high income country by 2036,” said Matambo, challenging the private sector to step forward and help government to develop the country, bemoaning the low levels of financial inclusion and shallow domestic capital markets.

He said the private sector should come up with more initiatives to develop further the local capital markets. The Minister’s sentiments were also shared by Martin Davies, Managing Director for Emerging Markets and Africa at Deloitte who has challenged the country to start dealing with its low manufacturing value add.

“How do we start to diversify beyond the single commodity economy,” quizzed Davies, adding that manufacturing increase is vital for low inequality across the country.

“Inequality results in bad public policy, as the state starts to believe and think they have to intervene more,” said Davies, highlighting that the country needs to move away from the absolute concept of state drive growth. Meanwhile, minister Matambo has applauded the private sector for leading economic dialogue in the country through events such as the BIHL Global Finance Summit.

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First Lady advises women entrepreneurs

Keikantse Lesemela

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First lady, Neo Masisi

First Lady, Neo Masisi has urged women entrepreneurs to bring change in the economic development of the country and the rest of Africa.

Speaking during the Lioness Lean in Africa breakfast on Friday, Masisi said women entrepreneurs are remarkable engines of economic growth and job creation. “I believe women entrepreneurs hold incredible potential and credentials on the continent because Africa has the highest percentage of women entrepreneurs in the world.

It is projected that millions of much needed jobs will be created over the next decade and these will be created predominantly through small businesses which are mostly run by women,” said Masisi.She highlighted that women entrepreneurs are also the most powerful engine for equitably distributing growth and they are also solutions for addressing inequality on the continent.

“It is a proven fact that for many generations, women understand the simple concept of barter and commerce. These are the role models of our past and our present and they will continue to inspire new generations to do more for business to grow,” she said.

The Lioness Lean In Breakfast Series brings together inspirational and successful women entrepreneurs to share, inspire and connect with the next generation of great women-led start-ups.

The platform is based on a breakfast networking and speaker presentation format, which has been organized in locations across the African continent for the past year by Lionesses of Africa, empowering over one million women entrepreneurs across the continent.

Stanbic Bank Botswana Head of Personal Markets, Omphemetse Dube said they are pleased to bring the Lionesses of Africa Lean In platform to Botswana once again to bring together women entrepreneurs in the country and help to nurture their growth further.

“Botswana is blessed with a number of thriving female entrepreneurs, and the potential for the next generation of talent is strong. Platforms such as this are therefore paramount in growing the cause and we as a bank are proud to help champion that movement further,” said Dube.

Founder and CEO of Lionesses of Africa,Melanie Hawken noted that Gaborone is a growing and exciting centre for women’s entrepreneurship in Africa. “This is a must-attend event for women entrepreneurs in the country as it gives them the opportunity to hear the inspiring entrepreneurial stories of women who are building great businesses here,” she said.

The annual Lionesses of Africa event allows entrepreneurs to benefit from the insights and advice of women entrepreneurs who have seen and experienced it all and to also provide an excellent opportunity for networking.

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