EMOSE: State-owned insurer leads the way

FULLCOVER interviewed chief executive Joaquim Maqueto Langa of EMOSE, to find out more about the business and the insurance sector, the challenges ahead, his future strategy and how the industry contributes to the country’s economic development.

EMOSE: State-owned insurer leads the way

Tell us about your career and how you ended up as chief executive of EMOSE?
I joined Empresa Moçambicana de Seguros (EMOSE) in the first half of 2017. Prior to this I was a university professor. I spent a short time in the private sector at the beginning of my professional career, in the engineering and business management department of a multinational oil company.
I never thought about entering the insurance industry, but the shareholders of State‑owned EMOSE, recognised my management experience and strategic vision to make the company more dynamic – something I realise is a great challenge.
But now I have come to love my role and I feel comfortable navigating the biggest ship in Mozambique’s insurance sector ‘ocean’. What inspires me most is an overwhelming willingness to raise the profile of EMOSE, and perhaps the entire insurance industry in Mozambique, and to reach new heights. To do this, I rely on a strong team of highly experienced insurance market professionals.

How do you assess the condition and evolution of the Mozambican insurance sector in recent years?
In recent years, the insurance sector in Mozambique has seen new insurance companies join the market and brokerage services stabilise. About three reinsurance brokers have entered the country and we believe another reinsurer may arrive soon.
With products, the market continues to trade traditional policies and there is no product or service innovation.
Although there have been market entrants (referred above), this has not encouraged a widespread take‑up of cover or increased insurance penetration in the country. Going forward, we will focus on developing new products, for example, specialist products for the oil and gas industry.

What for you, are the main challenges the Mozambican insurance sector faces?
The main challenges are:
- To create awareness within society about the importance of insurance. This is a crucial challenge and an enormous task, given as I have just mentioned, the very low penetration of personal and business insurance in Mozambique.
- Associated with the awareness issue – to provide and promote a wider range of insurance products and enable us to protect the economies and lives of citizens with low incomes.
- To train competent experts in the field of insurance – there are still few specialists in this area.
- To review and optimize the insurance industry’s legal framework, protecting the interests of citizens and the State while at the same time, encouraging healthy competition.
To create the technical capacity to respond to clients’ mega‑project insurance needs, now and in the future, particularly those investing in oil, gas and other natural/energy
- Finally, though no less important, to increase the purchase of insurance for agriculture and weather risks. It is well‑known that 80% of the Mozambican population is employed in agriculture and that Mozambique is prone to natural disasters.

How has EMOSE contributed to the development of the sector and what is your strategy for the future?
EMOSE is positioning itself to meet the challenges of the market and the government’s agenda.
With gas and petroleum, EMOSE has since 2013, taken the initiative to create capacity in this area. We developed a strategic partnership with Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos EP (ENH), creating a captive insurance company, and worked in partnership with the government, particularly the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy and the National Institute of Petroleum. Other initiatives include developing relationships with operators such as Anadarko and ENI and for the latter, insuring 10% of the Coral South Project, covering the risks associated with the floating Liquefied Natural Gas Plant in Palma.
From a strategic positioning and technical expertise viewpoint, since 2014, EMOSE has invested in staff training to ensure those working in our specialist office providing insurance for the gas and oil sector, have unrivalled experience and knowledge. Our partnership with MDS, for insurance and reinsurance broking, consulting and training, fits well with this strategy.
Looking to the future, EMOSE is undergoing a process of organisational, cultural and technological change. In order to achieve maximum efficiency and increase our responsiveness, we are transforming EMOSE into a holding company with specialist and additional support business areas. Our focus is to consolidate our leadership across all areas of the Mozambican insurance market while recognising the active roles other insurers have to play.

How can the insurance sector be a springboard for the country’s economic development?
Insurance, from an economic perspective, acts as the protector of investments. This means that if a person or business, in the course of their duties, has assets or investments to protect, they must insure against acts of nature or any other unforseen risks that will cause, sometimes irreparable damage. Insurance can not only guarantee the partial or total replacement of the damaged assets, preventing further new investment by the individual or business owner, but it can keep a business running. The insurance industry must therefore continue to develop initiatives and increase the number of people and companies that use insurance as a tool to protect their assets.
EMOSE’s participation in the national strategy for financial inclusion 2016‑2022 (ENIF) is without a doubt, a step in the right direction to make insurance more widely available and increase insurance penetration. If we develop products and services that are more inclusive and accessible to people with low incomes and small and microenterprises, we will contribute to the country’s socio‑economic development.

Do you believe greater cooperation between international companies can provide the Mozambican insurance sector with the expertise and experience it needs?
One of the major constraints in the insurance industry is a lack of specialized professionals with the knowledge, training and experience in their chosen sector. Partnerships with international entities, such as insurers, reinsurers, consultants and risk analysts are therefore crucial. At EMOSE we highly value our partnership with MDS Group; we rely on MDS Re as our reinsurance broker and count upon other Group companies, such as MDS Mozambique, for technical input.
We believe this enhances our technical capacity. EMOSE is also committed to furthering relationships with national technical and higher education institutions, calling for them to include insurance tuition in their curricula.
EMOSE is already the largest and most financially secure insurance company in Mozambique, but we also want to be the best; a goal the country can count on us to achieve. •

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