The Landscape of Microinsurance in Africa (Briefing Note)
In various forms microinsurance has been available to some low-income people in Africa for a number of years. Cooperative Insurers have serviced a market that spans the income ranges since the 1970s. In the 1980s, community-based health insurance schemes, especially in West Africa, followed the Bamako Initiative. In the mid-1990s, commercial insurers began to enter the market offering specialized microinsurance products. Informal microinsurance has been available for decades in a range of forms, from tontines” in West Africa or friend in need” groups in East Africa to burial societies in South Africa. Over the last ten years insurance has developed into a widely recognized financial intervention to help Africa's low-income populations to manage their financial risks.