ICD boosting activity in Africa to widen Islamic finance appeal

The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) plans to increase its activities in Africa, part of plans to widen the appeal of Islamic finance across the region. Under a new strategy, the ICD is helping develop what it terms "Islamic finance channels" to spread sharia-compliant financial products more widely, ICD chief executive Khaled Al-Aboodi said. Such channels include Islamic banks, investment and ijara companies, and takaful and retakaful firms. Some of the projects will be led by Senegal-based Tamweel Africa Holding which will establish an Islamic bank in Benin and is finalizing a feasibility study for one in Mali. In Chad, the ICD is supporting the establishment of an Islamic bank and a leasing company, depending on the approval from local authorities.