Rwanda: Company Profile of Sonarwa


Sector: Insurance

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The Sociétè Nouvelle des Assurances or Sonarwa is the pioneering company in Rwanda’s insurance industry. The company plays a proactive role in savings release while contributing to the country’s economic development.


Before 1975 there were no full-fledged insurance companies existing in Rwanda.
However, some foreign brokerage firms were in operation representing their
mother-companies. In that time, 40 years ago, Sonarwa commenced
operations under the management of a U.K. based company called J.H. Minet.
Initial Capital Increase. During the following years, the company kept growing and In 1983, its sharecapital rose from Rwf 400,000,000
to Rwf 500,000. The company began then a nation-wide expansion
opening branches at Butare and Gisenyi in 1983, Cyangugu in 1985, Gitarama
in 1992 and Rwamagana in 1994.


After the genocide, the company reopened with only 53 employees from the nearly 300 it previously had but, even during the most difficult periods, Sonarwa has managed to keep its position as a leader of the Rwandan insurance industry despite the increasing marketing competitiveness.


In 2005, with the celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the company, Sonarwa experienced a re-branding including change of the logo and company’s colours. Today, the company celebrates the 40th Anniversary of its operaciones being yet the leader enterprise within its sector.


Sonarwa was the first insurance company in Rwanda and one of the keys of its success is undoubtedly this huge presence in the market; it is a forty years old brand, very well known and strong in the country.


Even though he competition in the market has been and yet is high, since the insurance industry is evolving and growing, the other companies in the country have foreign investors and founds, while Sonarwa maintains its local base.


Thanks to all these years of operations, the company has today a wide variety of products within its portfolio: Motor Insurance, Fire Insurance, Aviation Insurance, Marine Insurance and Livestock Insurance, something very innovative and well appreciated in Rwanda, due to the lack of this kind of products, which speaks about Sonarwa’s pioneering soul.


For the following years, Sonarwa is focusing its efforts in 6 key areas to keep growing and to maintain its leadership in the country: business growth, service excellent, development of technology, employee’s engagement and internal rebranding.


Among all of them, technology will be probably the characteristic that will make a difference in the company, as the innovation in technology procedures while purchasing its products will be the base of its next operations. In this context, the company is working for its big portfolio of products and services to be totally present on the Internet and mobile devices. That way, Sonarwa will keep growing as the leader in the insurance industry of Rwanda.


Rwanda is a country that it has been driven by a clear vision of very strong leaders; the authorities have provided a visionary leadership and it has impacted on the development and growth of Rwanda.