The history of WAII is closely linked with the West African Insurance Companies Association (WAICA), the sub-regional Association of Insurance companies in Anglophone West Africa. The Association, which was formed in 1973, is committed to the development of insurance in all ramifications. In order to achieve this objective, the Founding Fathers rightly considered the training of manpower as a vital prerequisite.
It was further recognised that significant saving could be achieved if resources could be pooled together by member Companies to establish a single centre where the necessary training would be undertaken.
The deliberation and efforts of WAICA led to contacts with United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) which is also interested in training manpower for the Third World. It was agreed that the West African Insurance Institute should be established with the support of UNCTAD.
This ultimately led to the signing of an Agreement in Monrovia on 2nd August, 1978 between UNCTAD and the Governments of Five (5) Anglophone West African Countries of Nigeria, Ghana, The Gambia, Liberia and Sierra Leone. WAICA, as a representative of West Africa Insurance Industry, was made a Founding Member of the institute
The Agreement establishing the Institute, in brief, state among others that it shall:
- Be a multinational Insurance Centre with full diplomatic status and juridical personality and financial authority.
- Provide professional insurance education to the personnel of the insurance industry as well as to that of the supervisory service.
- Serve as a centre for the collection of technical and other insurance data and shall provide technical assistance to member countries, if requested by any and such request is approved by the Governing, Council.
- Organize research programmes and projects in all aspect of insurance, reinsurance and allied subjects.
A protocol attached to the Agreement spells out the facilities, immunities and privileges to be accorded to the Institute by the Host Country. A provision in the Agreement also states that Membership of the institute is open to all Governments of Anglophone West Africa and that membership could be acquired through approval and the signing of the Agreement and acceptance of the inherent obligations.
All the power of the Institute are vested in the Governing Council made up of 5 representatives from Nigeria, (3) three from Ghana, and 2 representatives each from Sierra Leone, Liberia and The Gambia. The Commissioners of Insurance of the five Member Countries are members by virtue of their positions.