The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Charles Owiredu, has expressed the government’s delight for the Ecowas Brown Card Day celebration.
He has also congratulated the Ghana National Bureau of Ecowas Brown Card Insurance Scheme for celebrating the Day at the time when Ghana is bidding to host the Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AFCFTA) in Accra.
The Deputy Minister said this when he delivered a keynote address on behalf of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, at the Ecowas Brown Card Day Celebration held at M-Plaza hotel, Accra on Wednesday, May 29, 2019.
“Permit me to use this opportunity to commend the Ghana National Bureau of Ecowas Brown Card Insurance Scheme under the able leadership of Mr Patrick Agyekum for organizing this very important event. The theme for the occasion: “The ECOWAS Brown Card Insurance Scheme: A Catalyst for Trade Facilitation and Regional Integration”, could not have been more appropriate at this material time, especially, when our country, Ghana, is seriously bidding to host the Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement in Accra”, Hon. Owiredu hinted.
In his welcome address, the Chairman of the Board of the Ghana Bureau of Ecowas Brown Card Insurance Scheme, Mr Victor Obeng-Adiyiah, explained that the Executive Committee of the ECOWAS Brown Card Insurance Scheme has declared 29th of May of every year as “ECOWAS Brown Card Day” to be celebrated in each Member State.
The ECOWAS Brown Card Insurance Scheme Protocol was signed on May 29, 1982, in Cotonou, Benin by ECOWAS Heads of State.
The Chairman of the program, Mr Emmanuel Baba Mahama, a seasoned Insurer, said there are a lot of Ecowas protocols that have been signed but lack proper implementation.
He called for collective efforts to make the Ecowas Brown Card Insurance scheme a great success since one of the main objectives of setting it up is to bring relief to victims of cross-border motor accidents caused by visiting motorists from member states of Ecowas.
The Secretary-General of the Council of Bureaux of the ECOWAS Brown Card Insurance Scheme in Togo, Mr Winfred Dodzih, on his part said, the impact of the Scheme on the lives of victims of road accidents in our sub-region as well as economic development of member states such as Ghana cannot be over-emphasized.
He called on the stakeholders to use the Brown Card Day celebration as a good platform for education and awareness creation on the importance of the Ecowas Brown Card Insurance Scheme to the motorists public in the sub-region.
The Commissioner of Insurance, Mr Justice Yaw Ofori said that until the establishment of the Ecowas Brown Card Insurance Scheme, motorists travelling across their national boundaries had to apply to their local motor insurance companies for an extension of the geographical coverage of their motor policies to include the country being visited. This problem was further compounded by the cumbersome means by which claims were handled and processed since there was a lack of harmonisation of the claims procedures and requirements between countries. The Ecowas Brown Card Insurance Scheme was thus established on the protocol on the free movement of persons, goods and services across National Boundaries of Ecowas member states.
The President of Ghana Insurers Association (GIA), Ms Aretha Duku said GIA and the Ghana National Bureau have enjoyed close collaborations and partnerships over the years and recalled that they operated as a single entity until the separation in 2009. She assured that the two bodies would continue to collaborate to achieve a common objective of payment of legitimate motor claims swiftly since that is the hallmark of any good insurance policy.
Fraternal messages were delivered by the National President of Borderless Alliance – Ziad Hamoui, Secretary General/CEO of West African Insurance Companies Association (WAICA) – Mr. William Coker, CEO of Ghana Shippers Authority- Ms Benonita Bismarck and other stakeholders.
The CEO/General Secretary of the Ghana Bureau of the Ecowas Brown Card Insurance Scheme, Mr. Patrick K. Agyekum displayed a sample of the Ecowas Brown Card Insurance cover and explained the features to the gathering. Mr. Agyekum used the occasion to launch the website of the Ghana Bureau of the Ecowas Brown Card Insurance Scheme.
Seated (from right): Board Chairman Mr. Victor Obeng-Adiyiah, Hon. Charles Owiredu, Mr. Emmanuel Baba Mahama, Mr. Justice Ofori and Mr. Winfred Dodzih. With them are some of the dignitaries from the Insurance industry