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Stimulating innovation in Sub-Saharan Africa

This partnership between the International Labour Office and the Agence Francaise de Dévelopment aims to strenghten the resilience to risk of the low income population in Sub-Saharan Africa. The project stimulates innovation with eight partners in Sub-Saharan Africa by implementing action research interventions to improve scale and provide better access to valuable insurance products. It provides capacity building to partners and the broader industry as well as disseminates new lessons to governments and other relevant stakeholders to influence public policy.

Innovation partners

Through the partnership with Agence Française de Dévelopment (AFD) to stimulate innovation in Sub-Saharan Africa, the ILO’s Impact Insurance Facility works with eight organizations to implement innovative insurance solutions that improve outreach and provide value to low-income households and informal workers. 






Partner - Country - Thematic area - Outreach

Project details

Barry Callebaut

Cocoa trading company

Côte d'Ivoire

Agriculture; Bundling


Integrating insurance to the farmer finance offering

Barry Callebaut is among the world’s largest cocoa producers. Barry Callebaut aims to provide a financing package (savings and production lending) to its 100,000 cocoa producers in order to improve their productivity. The project aims to add insurance to this finance package to make farmers more resilient to "single events" that overthrow planning (accidents, death, death of a family member), thereby reducing their vulnerability and increasing their willingness to invest in activities that increase long-term productivity.


Public-private insurer




Scaling agriculture insurance through microfinance institutions (MFIs)

The National Agricultural Insurance Company of Senegal (CNAAS) is a public-private partnership in charge of underwriting crop and livestock insurance. CNAAS currently partners with financial institutions to distribute agricultural insurance products. The project identifies the most appropriate distrbution channels and strengthens their management capacity to better understand how insurance can mitigate the risks of the institutions and their customers. 

National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA)

Public institution


Health; Digital



The NHIA administers Ghana’s national health insurance scheme. Each year, the 10.5 million members of the scheme need to renew their membership in person at a District Office. This is a time consuming process that may deter members and results in lost coverage. The project proposes digitization of the renewal process allowing members the ability to remotely renew membership through members’ mobile phones or partner organizations. 


Technology services providers


Agriculture; Digital


PPP to scale-up agricultural index insurance

Kifiya provides digital infrastructure to enable development and delivery of insurance products. Kifiya’s digital financial services platform enables enrolment, premium collection and claims payment processing. This project focuses on achieving scale and sustainability of an agricultural insurance offering that is being launched in partnership with Ministry of Agriculture and four private insurers.


Insurance company


Bundling; Digital; Agriculture


Bundled insurance products for the tea industry

Kenya has 700,000 tea pickers that provide for almost 3 million Kenyans. Tea pickers are affected by weather risks and have limited protection from these risks through insurance. The project proposes a hybrid product that provides meso protection to the tea factory and an insurance and/or savings platform for the tea pickers and farmers that individuals can tap into during times of emergency.

Equity Insurance Agency

Financial institution




Building digital solutions

Equity Insurance Agency is implementing a new digitization strategy that aims to provide better access to insurance solutions. The strategy includes offering insurance products (such as motor insurance) through a digital platform such as Easy Pay; offering a freemium mobile insurance product through Equitel; and digitizing the insurance back-end procedures.






Data analysis and digital consumer education for mobile insurance

MicroEnsure offers freemium mobile insurance (includes life, accidental permanent disability, and hospital cash insurance) through Airtel in several African countries. It is launching a paid version of these products that clients can buy to top up individual benefits or buy cover for their family. The project supports launches in Kenya, Nigeria and Malawi, focusing on client segmentation and designing digital consumer education to identify the most cost-effective way to educate customers and improve their understanding of the product.


A list of interventions with these innovation partners includes:

  • Improving ability of Partners to assess client risks, and design appropriate insurance products (focus on market segmentation) in relation to other formal and informal financial services
  • Using technology to make enrolment and claims processes more accessible and to reduce operating costs
  • Developing health insurance products that extend or supplement existing social protection schemes
  • Developing meso-level insurance products that benefit small-scale farmers and improve financial institutions’ risk management abilities. The results from the different action research projects are disseminated to a broader audience using the Facility’s knowledge tools (briefs, trainings, bite-sized lessons, webinars etc.). Performance is assessed from both the client and institution perspectives.
  • The project supports training of Partners to improve organizational capacity to deliver microinsurance as well as disseminates new lessons to governments and other relevant stakeholders to influence their policies with regards how insurance can be used to achieve public policy objectives.


Emerging Insights


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