Oromia Insurance Company (OIC), International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), and Kifiya Financial Technology, have partnered to expand the number of livestock insurance beneficiaries in Oromia Region of Ethiopia.
The new partnership will replace the traditional paper-based pastoralists’ enrollment system of OIC with Kifiya’s digital Microinsurance platform and its extensive agent network which among others will increase the number of beneficiaries that can access the service.
“We used to do it manually and as a result we were unable to expand the service to reach the number of pastoralists we planned to enroll at the beginning. For example, in our initial plan we aimed to include 1,000 pastoralists in one sales window,” Getaneh Erena, Senior Livestock Insurance Expert at OIC explained. “And now by using the technology developed by Kifiya, we will be able to enroll up to 1,500 pastoralists in one sales window”.
In Ethiopia, in one year there are two livestock insurance sales windows (January – February or August – September), according to Getaneh.
The partnership was realized following OIC’s successful implementation of the first livestock insurance service in Ethiopia, labeled as ‘Index Based Livestock Insurance (IBLI), which was developed by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI).
Since the launching of the service in August 2012, OIC has provided 4,588 pastoralists in the Oromia Region of West Guji and Borena zones with livestock insurance. And in the past month, the company has paid a total of 1.6 million Birr as compensation to pastoralists who lost their livestock due to the drought caused by the El Nino.
“As of the next sales window, we will be automating the system fully and by doing so we will be able to provide better service, which includes increasing the number of enrollment, as well as providing better claims management,” said Meseret Tefera, Market Development and Partnership Manager at Kifiya. “After receiving the satellite data we are going to interpret and refine it further for better success of the product,” she said.
Over the past several years, Kifiya has provided services that contribute to the financial inclusion of the rural communities. In addition to OIC, Kifiya has been working on other Microinsurance products such as the Index Based Crop insurance with the Ethiopian Insurance Corporation (EIC) developed in partnership with University of Twente ICT, Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA), Public Finance Enterprise Agency (PFEA) and National Meteorology Agency (NMA).
Previously a similar livestock insurance was applied by ILRI and its partners in the neighboring country, Kenya. In recent years pastoralists of East African countries have been suffering from the frequent El Nino induced drought, and this type of livestock insurance is believed to reduce the vulnerability of these communities from such unexpected financial shocks.