Former pop star and anti-poverty campaigner calls on insurers to help businesses in Africa

Former pop star turned anti-poverty campaigner Bob Geldof has called on the UK insurance industry to make political risk products available to companies looking to develop their business in Africa.

Speaking to industry figures at last week’s Biba conference in Glasgow, Geldof said insurance companies had a big role to play in encouraging new business investment into the continent.

Talking exclusively to Insurance Times, Geldof said insurers had the power to provide political risk cover. “Unless you get political risk you don’t get capital inroads into Africa from the West,” he said.

“We [the UK] need to be in there because the competition is overwhelming, everyone else is in there. But what is holding us back? One of the things is political risk cover.”

Political risk insurance covers the exposure faced by companies and investors to changes in government policy which could have a negative effect on their business.

Geldof said he hoped industry bosses would seize the chance to develop their businesses across the region.

He continued: “I don’t know this world and so when you come to a beanfeast like this and you talk to the head people in the industry, maybe you plant a seed; one, that it is a great business opportunity perhaps, and two, maybe we should put something forward or propose something to the UK government.

“That is the thing that will unleash vast quantities of funds going into the continent.”