Prima Reinsurance Plc, a Zambian insurer, plans to raise about $4 million by the end of the year in the country’s first initial public offering since 2008.

The proceeds will go toward meeting higher minimum capital requirements proposed by Zambia’s government, while also allowing Prima Re to take on riskier, bigger deals, Chairman David Kombe said by phone from Lusaka, the capital.

“There’s a lot of potential in Africa as more and more people start appreciating the value of insurance,” he said today. “Africa’s been known to rely on reinsurance services from outside, and Europe in particular. Now there’s a drive to try and spread the risks within the region.”

Prima is seeking to take advantage of growth in a continent that has less than 10 percent of the average global insurance density per capita, according to the African Insurance Organisation. The company has already done business in countries including Egypt, Sudan, Mozambique and Uganda, Kombe said.

The last listing on the Lusaka Stock Exchange was Zambia National Commercial Bank Plc, which sold shares to the public in November 2008, Wala Chabala, chief executive officer of the Securities and Exchange Commission, said by mobile phone from Johannesburg.

–Editors: Vernon Wessels, Hilton Shone