The AXA.COM team editor

Offering a better tomorrow for businesses in Africa

In 2014, Nigeria overtook South Africa for the first time to become Africa’s leading economic power. The result of a decade of sustained growth during which the country, which was previously dependent on oil, has diversified its economy. Exploring new ways to live
Apr 27, 2016

Obinna Obienu is one of the entrepreneurs who have successfully capitalized on the opportunities opening up with this transformation. In 1999, he set up his own computer company in Ikeja. Today, this district in the suburbs of Lagos is home to one of the world’s largest IT markets. Obinna has sales of € 12 million and employs 52 people.

“In the early 2000s, Nigeria was moving out of the typewriter age into the computer era: demand for IT equipment was strong”. Obinna Obienu, President and founder of IT World.

AXA partnering development in Africa

Present in eight African countries, AXA asserts its commitment through different partnerships with African and international institutions, by developing products fitted to the local communities' needs or investing in sustainable projects.

Tomorrow, small and mid-sized companies will create 70% of jobs in Nigeria. Today, Ikeja Computer Village in Lagos is home to more than 6,000 IT hardware firms. Obinna’s staff numbers have risen thirteenfold in the past decade.
Meet Obinna Obienu, President and founder of IT World.

However, setting up your own firm in Nigeria is still a risky business. While the country is growing, access to electricity is still a complex issue, with just 156 kWh available per inhabitant, compared with 7,344 in France. The rapid development of small businesses is being held back by high startup costs, difficulties borrowing funds and the low insurance rate.

In 2013, Obinna almost lost his business when a fire destroyed IT World’s main warehouse. Fortunately, he was insured with AXA Mansard. This prudent approach is still something of an exception in Computer Village.

Obinna Obienu
President and founder of IT World

Without someone to cover your back, you can’t recover from a blow like that.

Building trust in insurance in Africa.

Key figures

Nigerian insurance market
insurance market in Africa
of the market
is focused on commercial insurance
Penetration rate
for insurance in Nigeria in 2013, one of the world's lowest levels

To recruit, develop and innovate, Nigerian businesses need the guarantees offered by insurance.

Wuraola Odensaya
Sales and marketing officer at AXA Mansard

Investing in insurance is not a natural reflex for these entrepreneurs. We have to raise their awareness, create an environment of trust and confidence and, most importantly, show them why it is so important for their business

With its still very low penetration rate, its young population with rising standards of living, its growth and its rapid innovation, the African continent is very attractive for insurers.

By further strengthening its positions in Algeria and Egypt and acquiring a majority interest in AXA Mansard in Nigeria, the Group has set out its commitment to develop at the heart of this continent. A strategy that is still a core part of its 2020 strategic plan.