IFC, Leadway Vie partner to expand access to life insurance to women in Côte d’Ivoire
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and insurance company Leadway Vie Côte d'Ivoire announced a partnership to increase access to life insurance for women in Côte d'Ivoire and create jobs for women as insurance brokers in the country.
Under the partnership, IFC will help Leadway Vie Côte d'Ivoire, a subsidiary of Leadway Assurance Limited Nigeria, develop an insurance strategy and products tailored to Ivoirian women. Currently, only 2 percent of women in Côte d'Ivoire have life insurance, leaving millions of women-headed families at potential risk. IFC will also work with Leadway Vie to increase the number of women they employ as insurance agents, creating jobs and also helping boost the uptake of insurance among women.
According to the International Labor Organization, 20 percent of Ivorian households are women-headed. These women tend to be more vulnerable to physical and financial shocks and often have limited access to coping mechanisms. With proper insurance, they could better protect themselves, their families, communities, and society.
Tiornan Coulibaly, Managing Director of Leadway Vie said: "Because women are essential drivers of our economy, contributing to their financial empowerment and social protection is a priority for Leadway Vie. We are, therefore, working with IFC to introduce products and distribution strategies specifically designed for women to help them mitigate the daily risks they face and giving them greater access to financial protection mechanisms."
Olivier Buyoya, IFC's Country Manager for Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea, and Mali said: "Through this partnership, IFC and Leadway Vie will implement an inclusive insurance program that will empower women and generate positive impacts on how women work and protect their assets, helping stabilize their income and ultimately create the conditions that can help to alleviate poverty."
Women will represent a $1.7 trillion opportunity for the insurance industry globally by 2030, according to IFC's report She for Shield: Insure Women to Better Protect All. Over half of this growth is expected to come from emerging markets such as Côte d'Ivoire, where women are projected to represent an estimated $31.2 billion market for life insurance by 2025.
The partnership between IFC and Leadway Vie Côte d'Ivoire is partly funded by the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi), which invests in programs and projects that help unlock financing to address women entrepreneurs' barriers. We-Fi has allocated $249 million in financing to reach over 114,000 women-owned SMEs in 50 countries.