ANTI TERROR INSURANCE FOR EAST AFRICA
By: Ronald Muwanga
A Tourist Insurance and re-insurance will soon be available in East Africa.
The package developed by the African Trade Insurance Agency, a development agency, will offer alternative insurance cover for tourists visiting the three East African countries of Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania and other eight countries including Rwanda, Burundi, Eritrea, Malawi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, Madagascar and Djibouti.
African Trade Insurance Agency established by an international treaty registered under article 102 of the United Nations Charter in January 2001, and member countries are drawn from the corporate membership of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).
During an interview at their offices in Nairobi on Monday, Kenya, Bernard Haldevang, the Chief Executive of the agency said that the insurance package will be available by early next year and will cover tourists wishing to visit the region, but added that it has not been attractive due to the high cost factor.
He said the high costs are blamed on the perceived high terrorist risks in the region and also the fact that the insurance cover is considered a luxury.
The August 1998 bombing of the United States embassies in Nairobi in Kenya and Dar-Es-Salaam in Tanzania led to a step decline in tourists in the region and the subsequent travel advisories, mainly by the United States, aggravated the situation.
While Uganda has seen an increase in American tourists, Kenya has relied mostly on Europeans.
Mr. Haldevang said the attacks in Spain and the situation in Britain have greatly eased the phobia about East Africa among European visitors and many are less likely to be intimidated by the advisories because they now realise that terrorist risks are everywhere.
Copyright © Ronald Muwanga 2004