Regional health insurance company, AAR Health Services, has appointed a Rwandan national to its Board of Directors. Gerald Mpyisi was introduced last week 4 years after the Kenyan-based insurance company started operations in the country.
The former maths teacher is also the Chairperson of the Kenya Rwanda Business Association (KRBA) and is now charged with the responsibility of overseeing a successful operation of the company’s services in Rwanda.
His appointment makes him the first Rwandan to join the board of the 25-year old health insurance company that currently serves over 150,000 clients across the continent.
“Mpyisi’s appointment is very special as he becomes the first Rwandan national to join the AAR Board of Directors upon ratification by the Central Bank of Rwanda,” said Jagi Gakunju, the Group Chief Executive.
“He therefore comes on board with vast experience in different fields and intellect. We are confident he will be of great value to the AAR Rwanda operations,” he added.
Government also welcomed the development saying that it will help in achieving the desired vision of having as many people insured as possible by the year 2020.
“It is a recommendable achievement to have a Rwandan elected to that position of responsibility by a private insurance company. Such initiatives are important in the general working scope of Government,” said Dr Agnes Binagwaho, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health.
She urged Rwandans to embrace the programmes offered by AAR Health services and encouraged more companies to take advantage of the available citizens who have not registered for medical insurance.
Mpyisi acknowledged the appointment and pledged to work to the best of his ability to ensure that the management does what is right to provide quality service.
AAR’s coverage in Rwanda grew by 41.9 percent last year and have set a target of reaching 50 percent this year.
AAR subscribers in Rwanda get their services at health facilities like King Faisal Hospital and Polyclinique du Plateau but the group has plans of opening its own facility in Kigali.
The company was suspended in November, 2006 by the National Insurance Commission (NIC) on grounds that it had failed to meet the requirements to operate as an insurance company.
However it resumed operations a year later after it was certified by the Banque Nationale du Rwanda (BNR), which is currently regulating the insurance sector. Before it was suspended, AAR had registered 3,000.
AAR resumed full operations in Kigali targeting 5,000 members. The company is investing $200,000 to re-launch its presence in the city.
The health insurance started in 1984 and headquartered in Kenya with subsidiaries in Uganda, Tanzania and Burundi. With full operations in Kigali, the company officials said that their strategy is to make Kigali a regional expansion hub, targeting strong operations in Burundi and opening a subsidiary in DR Congo.
AAR has over 100,000 members in the region, of which 40 per cent are individual members and 60 per cent are corporate. Regionally, the service provider also operates 15 comprehensive one-stop outpatient facilities.