Ready to Backstop Insurance Capacity in Africa during the COVID-19 Pandemic
NAIROBI, 1 April, 2020 – The Board of Directors of the African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI) approved the institution’s 2019 results during its recent e-board meeting. The Board also took several decisions to strengthen ATI’s business continuity and management base as the company readies itself to provide additional insurance capacity to the continent during this unprecedented and challenging period.
In its announcement to Shareholders, the Board noted that ATI remained focused on increasing its developmental impact in 2020, while it highlighted several areas of exceptional growth in 2019, which add to ATI’s now eight consecutive years of growth and record results:
In addition to approving the 2019 results, the Board also took two key decisions to ensure ATI’s business continuity and operational capability. ATI announced that John Lentaigne, who will leave ATI in mid-2020, will continue in his capacity as Acting CEO until the company’s Annual General Meeting (AGM), which is slated to take place the first week of July, and at which time, they plan to introduce the new substantive CEO, for approval by the AGM.
The Board will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and if ATI is not able to hold an in-person AGM, they will convene a virtual meeting of ATI’s shareholders. The Board will announce a decision on its AGM in the coming weeks.
In its announcement to shareholders, the Board also acknowledged Mr. Lentaigne’s excellent leadership in his role as Acting CEO and prior to that as the Chief Underwriting Officer (CUO), which has helped ATI evolve into a nimble and innovative partner, providing African governments with solutions that have been recognised by institutions such as the IMF as viable options to help governments improve their debt management levels and access to affordable commercial capital.
The Board has also approved Mr. Benjamin Mugisha’s appointment as the substantive CUO. Mr Mugisha’s appointment will take effect once the new CEO assumes office, until then, Mr. Mugisha will continue in his existing role as Acting CUO.
Lastly, the creation of the new Chief Risk Officer position and the subsequent hiring of Deepak Dave, in Q-1 2020 will serve to compliment the Management team’s skill-set while helping ATI to deliver on even greater results in the future. The creation of an enhanced risk function was a recommendation of ATI’s rating agencies and a measure the Board also considers important for ATI’s long-term viability.
QUOTE from Dr. Yohannes Ayalew Birru, Chairman of the Board of Directors of ATI
“If COVID-19 has any lessons to teach us it’s that we are stronger together. So, as we all weather this storm, you can rest assured that ATI will continue to deliver on its promise to support Africa’s investment and trade growth. To this end, the institution will continue to seek solutions that will ensure an adequate level of insurance capacity during this challenging period.”
QUOTE from John Lentaigne, Acting CEO of ATI
“I’m enormously proud of what the ATI team has accomplished over the past year. Our record results prove that our nimble and innovative approach can provide transformative developmental solutions to the continent. And now, with the challenges caused by COVID-19 we must continue to deliver, even despite such challenges. In this regard, I’m pleased to note that to date we remain on a trajectory to meet our targets in 2020 despite the pandemic.”