ACRE – ZEPRE Merger propels scaling of Index Insurance to new regions in Africa

Since early December 2020, ZEP-RE (PTA Reinsurance Company) a leading African reinsurer has been working towards becoming ACRE Africa’s key shareholders controlling 56% stake. The acquisition, being a milestone in the history of ACRE Africa and the partnership has seen ACRE scale it’s operations to new regions in the quest to build a sustainable smallholder agricultural insurance sector.  ACRE Africa’s other shareholders are the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture (SFSA), the Adolf H. Lundin Charitable Foundation and the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation (Grameen).

Our goal as ACRE is to make agricultural insurance widely available, accessible, affordable and to improve financial inclusion across Sub-Saharan Africa. Through our partnership with ZEP-RE (PTA Reinsurance Company) we have scaled our livestock Insurance products to smallholder pastoralists farmers in the horn of Africa. Pastoralists form a key population group and contribute to the economic factors in Africa. Research shows that, in the eight IGAD countries, every 2 out of 10 people of the total population is made up of pastoralists or Agro-pastoralists.

Ms. Hope Murera, CEO Zep-Re and George Kuria, former CEO ACRE Africa signing the acquisition agreement

With funding from the World Bank, we provide de-risking and financial services to farmers through Index-based livestock insurance (IBLI). This is a tested tool to build the drought resilience of pastoralists whereby livestock-owning policyholders receive payouts based on an index. The project dubbed: Horn of Africa De-Risking, Inclusion and Value Enhancement of Pastoral Economies (DRIVE) Project aims to scale up financial protection for pastoralists across the horn of Africa with a package of financial services to address shocks, including premium payments and savings to help address more frequent shocks.

Another milestone that has been achieved from the merger with ZEP-RE is entry to Zambia with the Farmer Input Support Program (FISP). A government supported program for farmers across Zambia. It subsidises farmers’ input with an add on bundled insurance solution to de-risk vagaries such as drought incidents and excessive rains during the season.

ACRE Africa through ZEP-RE, has been part of the technical team working on designing and implementing index-based insurance to onboarded farmers for 2020/21 and the current season 2021/22. ACRE Africa through its experience with other markets has been keen to develop a farmer centric solution that address key pain points for the farmers in Zambia. Together with other partners; the Zambia Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and World Food Programme, with the support of the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) and financial partners Mayfair, this engagement has and will continue to change livelihoods.