SORAS Group rebrands to Sanlam Rwanda

SORAS Group in Rwanda has rebranded to Sanlam following an official celebratory event.

From Left are Julius Magabe, Regional Exectuive East Africa: Life Business; Lilian Onyach, Group Head of Marketing: Kenya; Fiacre Barasa, CEO: Sanlam General Insurance (Rwanda); Junior Ngulube, Vice Chairman: Sanlam Pan-Africa; Jean Chrysostome Hodari, CEO: Sanlam Life Insurance (Rwanda); Betty Sayinzoga, Business Integration Manager; and Sydney Mbhele, Chief Executive: Brand.

Sanlam in Rwanda operates under Sanlam Pan Africa (SPA). Founded in 1984 as SORAS Group, it’s the leading private insurance company in Rwanda with around 40% market share. It was also the first of its kind in the country, offering a wide range of general and life insurance products.

To cement its presence in Rwanda, Sanlam acquired a 100% shareholding in SORAS and SAHAM Assurance in 2018. This resulted in a merger of the two local subsidiaries in March 2019.

Speaking at the rebranding event, SPA Vice-chairman Junior Ngulube highlighted Rwanda’s potential as an important market for Sanlam in sub-Saharan Africa. ‘We have an active strategy to cover key markets as the go-to financial services provider for diverse clients, including individual customers, multinationals, brokers, banks, and other distribution entities who wish to leverage our offering for their business activities across Africa.

‘With Sanlam Rwanda, we have extended our brand and footprint into one of the high-potential and growth markets in Africa.’

Rwanda is one of the top 10 fastest-growing economies in the world and its insurance sector is growing at an encouraging pace.

According to a Monetary Policy and Financial Stability statement published by the National Bank of Rwanda in August, the total assets of the insurance sector increased by RWF54,3 billion (about R856 million) to RWF477,3 billion (R7,5 billion), which is 1,8% of GDP. The Rwandan insurance industry currently consists of 12 insurance companies, of which nine are private non-life insurers, three private life insurers and two public medical insurers.

Speaking at the branding event, Sanlam Assurance CEO Fiacre G Birasa said, ‘Adopting the Sanlam brand introduces a solid brand to the market and enhances its proposition. Sanlam Rwanda’s position has also been enhanced and it’s now geared to play a key role in helping to further promote insurance penetration in Rwanda, backed by the Sanlam Group.

‘The rebrand goes beyond the mere change of corporate colours and logos. It demonstrates a commitment to deliver world-class non-banking financial services to our local and regional clients. It will strengthen our market positioning, enabling us to unlock value and develop products and services for all market segments.’

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From Left are Sydney Mbhele, Chief Executive: Brand; Shumbusho Jean-Marie Vianney, Board Chairman: Sanlam General Insurance Rwanda; Fiacre Barasa, CEO: Sanlam General Insurance (Rwanda); Julius Magabe, Regional Exectuive East Africa: Life Business; Junior Ngulube, Vice Chairman: Sanlam Pan-Africa; Hon John Rwangombwa, Governor: Central Bank of Rwanda; and Jean Chrysostome Hodari, CEO: Sanlam Life Insurance (Rwanda).