Sumayya Hassan: The First Female CEO Of Takaful Insurance Of Africa

Ms Sumayya Hassan is the Chief Executive Officer Takaful Insurance of Africa (TIA). [Photo|]

By Prudence Minayo

Sumayya Hassan is the first female Chief Executive Officer of Takaful Insurance Africa, the first fully fledged Takaful operator in East and Central Africa.

In her tenure, she has presided over a bold strategy, brand awareness, and marketing campaign which has led to increase in revenue growth of 18% in 2021 and 14% in 2022.

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Having taken over in 2020, she has steered the insurer to growth despite hard times
including the pandemic, the inflation and the general elections.

Ms. Sumayya has been recognized both nationally and internationally, and is the recipient of several awards, including:

  • Outstanding Women Leadership Awards Lifetime Achievement Award.
  • Top 40 under 40.
  • 100 Most Influential Kenyan Muslims.
  • 30 Most Influential African Muslim Women Best CEO in Kenya.

She has a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) from Lancaster University and a Master of Laws (LLM) from University of Bristol. She also holds a postgraduate diploma in law from the Kenya School of Law.

The lawyer is also an alumnae of the University of Nairobi and Oxford University. She is a holder of an Advanced Management Diploma and commercial law.


An advocate of the high court, she was company secretary before rising to become the Chief Executive Officer of the National Oil Corporation of Kenya. She has been an advisor in the areas of oil and gas, trade law, ethical leadership, and corporate governance.

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A trainer with the center of corporate governance of Kenya, her objective as the CEO of Takaful is to create wide awareness of what Takaful is and what differentiates it from other underwriters.

Especially, since the market considers insurance as either a luxury thing or something to be bought only if the law requires it. Her task is ensuring that the insurance provider spreads its foot to different regions and demographics.

Being a sharia compliant insurer, they work on the principles of solidarity, cooperation and mutual assistance. Takaful promises to provide an alternative transparent, ethical, risk management solution.

They call their customers participants, who mutually insure each other with Takaful handling the technical underwriting, investment of funds, management of claims, and administrative aspects.

After claims have been paid, the remaining funds are paid back to eligible participants. The award winning CEO launched Takaful’s digital transformation plan to expand digitalization in order to benefit customers.

Takaful Mkononi was launched in January 2021, during their tenth anniversary. The app makes it convenient to purchase covers, fix claims, and reach the insurer. In August 2022, she commissioned an audit in order to understand brand engagement and customer satisfaction.

Three months later, she led the company management team to successfully complete the Stanford Business School’s one year seed transformation program. To celebrate ten years, they launched an online knowledge sharing program called Mnara. Mnara also provides guidance, mentorship and advice.

Speaking engagements

The experienced CEO has talked in various seminars and education fora including: the leadership conference of the Muslim Students Association at the University of Nairobi, the Africa Business and Ethics Conference in Nairobi, African Women Leadership in Islamic Finance in Abidjan, the International Conference on Inclusive Insurance in Jamaica, and KAMMP Webinar on Professional Indemnity.

Helping the vulnerable

To advance the course of the vulnerable, especially those living with disability, she collaborated with an organization for the deaf to provide ancillary services to TIA branches. This had helped to enhance employment opportunities for its deaf members.

She also ensured that non graduates have a chance to work as Direct sales Representatives.


The executive is the patron of the Muslim Deaf Association of Kenya. This is an organization that empowers the deaf and hearing impaired. She also sits on the boards of Islamic Relief Kenya, Safari Doctors and Nation Media Group.

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