Luxembourg 25 November 2019 - At a ceremony held at the European Investment Bank in Luxembourg, Paulette Lenert, Luxembourg Minister for Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs, (left) and Dr Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank (right) present the 10th European Microfinance Award to Ashok Shah, Apollo Group CEO (centre).
Since 2006, Luxembourg Directorate for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs, the European Microfinance Platform and the Inclusive Finance Network Luxembourg have been awarding a EUR 100,000 (USD 110,000) prize to the winner and, starting two years ago, EUR 10,000 (USD 1,100) to the two finalists.
This year’s winner, APA Insurance Ltd, is a Kenyan insurance company that provides index-based agriculture insurance to cover yields and forage for livestock, thus providing farmers and pastoralists with a safety net. Index-based insurance is an innovative approach to insurance whereby payments are linked to easily measured environmental conditions known as an “index” (e.g. the level of rainfall, yields or vegetation levels as measured by satellite) directly connected to the loss of agricultural output. When the index exceeds a particular threshold, farmers automatically receive compensation. In Kenya, where over 75 per cent of farmers are smallholders, who are especially vulnerable to the economic impacts of climate change, APA Insurance Ltd currently covers more than 350,000 families whose livelihoods are largely based on agriculture.
This is the first time in ten years an insurance company has been awarded the prize.