Funeral Assurers Tackle Challenges Of Repatriation Of Bodies

By Mark Mhukayesango

GWERU-The Zimbabwe Association of Funeral Assurers (ZAFA), National Funeral
Directors Association of South Africa and Funeral Services Association
of Kenya have formed the African Funeral Assurers and Services
Association (AFASA) that will help tackle issues relating to funeral
assurance at a continental level.
Addressing delegates during the opening of ZAFA’s inaugural conference
in Gweru on Monday ZAFA president Dr Edward Gomba said the
establishment of the AFASA seeks to avert challenges associated with
the repatriation of bodies throughout Africa.
“We agreed that AFASA will help us to share ideas on investments,
industry challenges and solutions, formation of standard laws in the
region and in Africa for the funeral industry,”
“The AFASA is going to help fellow Africans to unite and speak with
one voice on issues to do with regulations and delivery of services,”
said Gomba.
He urged some member countries in Africa to form Associations for the
purpose of easy management and coordination on funeral business.
The conference is running under the theme, “Raising standards for
economic and social transformation.
“We fully appreciate as the funeral industry that we have a critical
role to play in transforming the lives of the Zimbabweans both
economically and socially through our activities.
“It is also my hope that the coming in of micro insurance framework
will enable our members to take funeral assurance products to all
levels of the society including marginalized groups,” said Gomba.
Speaking at the same event Insurance and Pensions Commission’s (IPEC)
head of Prudential Supervision Pupurai Togarepi urged ZAFA members to
align all their activities to the governing laws, regulations and the
industry code of conduct in order to treat customers fairly.
“The funeral industry should strive to adhere to good principles of
corporate governance if it is to stand the test of time as more
emphasis is being placed on good corporate governance by the global
community,” he said.
He said it is Government and IPEC’s hope that a growing funeral
assurance will contribute positively to the economic development of
the country.
He added that the industry reported Gross Premium Written (GPW) of
$9,1 million as at March 31, 2015 up from $8,8 million reported during
the same time last year indicating a steady growth rate.
Togarepi said the industry should without delay strengthen their
balance sheets and competitiveness which will go a long way in fending
off competition from other players in the region.