Christian Hapi is Development and technical manager at Activa Cameroon insurance company. When he was 16, he joined the School of Commerce in Paris and after a first position at BMW as area manager for UAE, including the market of Dubai and Qatar, he decided to resume studies at the Ecole Nationale des Assurances de Paris. After graduation, he was first manager, regional manager, international customer director, then director of international trade in Luxembourg, where he worked up to last year. Back to Africa, after 20 years abroad, he is currently number 3 of Active Insurance in Cameroon, where he holds the central position of Director and is now head of the Globus, a network including a Tunisian company. Interview:.
Could you tell us about your network “Globus”, what are its objectives and what are your tasks?
The “Globus” network is designed to respond to international clients in insurance matters. Let’s take the example of Air France, a group which has interests in 17, 20 or 30 African countries; it is easier to have one interlocutor who said: I take care of all the risks in these countries. Then, I get all records and files and send them to you; it is just the Globus network. It is a network of independent insurance companies that share their techniques to meet a wide clientele. We are really excited about the whole international groups, but also on African groups that can see business elsewhere.
And this network has the same opportunity to do business with Tunisian insurance companies!!!
Absolutely, the Comar technical director can brief you on the matter. Comar has agreed to join the network since its start, i.e. when the Comar has customers who work outside of Tunisia, in Morocco, for example where we were working with Wataniya, or outside Tunisia in Morocco and Senegal, Comar calls us, and we made the investment for the client. We too. If tomorrow, I have a client for example, the Democratic Republic of Congo, who plans to invest in Tunisia, we make the investment deal with the Comar, we provide him with the subsequent technical consultation. It’s really to show that we, too, Africans we can unite our skills and respond to major groups needs.
But it is not a non profit network?
Of course, this is not a non profit network, because to grow, we must combine our forces without focusing on technical details. We, also, insurance companies, we need to reinsure to be strong. With “Globus”, we have the opportunity to say “we unite all the insurance capacity of different countries within a sole body as far as reinsurance is concerned” and together, we could negotiate with reinsurers to have reinsurance rates much more interesting. We “Activa” in Cameroon, have a turnover of15 and 20 billion, it is easier to deal with Comar which has a turnover of almost 100 billion, with our partner Senegal “Salama”, which also has a turnover of some tens of billions, with all those partners whose turnover reachs little more than a thousand billion CFA francs. We can then discuss with the reinsurers and ask them: what you can offer us to secure our risk, we insurers. That is the ambition of Globus. It is to meet the international standards with international technology, but in Africa.
How many African insurance does Globus include?
Globus policy is to be involved in business in each country. Today, Globus is settled in 30 countries, from Tunisia in North Africa to South Africa, covering all other countries, Mauritania, Senegal, Chad, Cameroon, Nigeria , Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Rwanda, all these countries come together in Globus. That’s the strength of this network.
Currently, it includes all the African countries?
Not totally, but Libya is not included, for example.We tried to consider discussions with the Libyans, but what they want is to come with petrodollars and buy all businesses, we have answered that it was not what we expect. What we expected was to unite and help each other technically each in his own country in order to grow together.
It was reported that a company from Cameroon bought out another company. This is the first time such thing occurs?
The ambition of Globus is to find interesting business and to get businesses where they could be and not just in insurance. Recently, we were about to enter the capital of Air Ivoire, but that was not achieved for various reasons. Activa purchased with our partner of Cote d’Ivoire a company in Ghana, which has a 4 billion turnover in an attractive market .We met and we bought this company.