Bharti Airtel courts Sanlam for distribution of financial products in Africa


By Chancy Namadzunda

Bharti Airtel, a leading telecommunications company with operations in 17 countries across Africa, has announced that it has entered into a strategic cooperation agreement with leading South African financial services group, Sanlam, for the distribution of insurance and health funding products.

This agreement covers seven African countries, on a non- exclusive basis, in which both companies have a presence, namely Kenya, Ghana, Tanzania, Zambia, Uganda, Malawi and Nigeria.

The agreement is aimed at enhancing value for Airtel customers and increasing access to insurance which will enable Sanlam to market and sell its Life, General and Health insurance products through Airtel’s extensive telecommunications networks in the seven countries.

Commenting on the transaction Chidi Okpala, Airtel’s Director & Africa Head, Airtel Money, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Sanlam on this exciting initiative.

“This will offer our customers in Africa access to a broad range of sophisticated products and services to support their lifestyles and aspirations, and this partnership will enable us to significantly enhance the value we offer our loyal customers. Our customers stand to benefit from access to Sanlam’s world-class Life, General and Health Insurance products.”

Margaret Dawes, Executive Director for Africa at Sanlam Emerging Markets, echoes these sentiments. “We are passionate about supplying sound financial solutions to the wider African market and are delighted by this opportunity to provide our services and solutions through Airtel’s network. We look forward to providing competitive products that meet the client’s needs – drawing on our collective years of experience and research in these markets.”

Bharti Airtel Limited is a leading integrated telecommunications company with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa. Headquartered in New Delhi, India, the company ranks amongst the top 5 mobile service providers globally in terms of subscribers. In India, the company’s product offerings include 2G, 3G and 4G services, fixed line, high speed broadband through DSL, IPTV, DTH, enterprise services including national & international long distance services to carriers.

In Africa, the airtel brand is present in both Francophone and Anglophone markets spanning Burkina Faso, Chad, Congo Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia. In these countries, it offers 2G, 3G mobile services.

Bharti Airtel had over 262 million customers across its operations at the end of July 2012 Sanlam is a leading diversified financial services group, originally established as a life insurance company in 1918 and listed on the JSE Limited (primary listing) and Namibian Stock Exchange (secondary listing) in 1998.

Its head office is in Bellville near Cape Town in South Africa and the Group has offices throughout South Africa and business interests elsewhere in Africa, Europe, India, the USA and Australia.

Sanlam provides financial solutions to individual and institutional clients. These solutions include individual, group and short-term (general) insurance, personal financial services such as estate planning, trusts, wills, personal loans, health management, savings and linked products, business fitness assessment, asset management, stock broking, employee benefits, risk management and capital market activities.

The Sanlam Emerging Markets (SEM) cluster is responsible for Sanlam’s financial business services (life assurance, general insurance and asset management) in emerging markets outside South Africa with the aim of ensuring sustainable delivery and growth across the various businesses that make up this cluster. As part of the Group’s vision, it strives to lead wealth creation in those markets. SEM has business interests in Botswana, Namibia, Malawi, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia,
Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, Swaziland and India.

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