Africa

NIC to introduce Islamic based insurance program

In Ghana the National Insurance Commission (NIC) may soon introduce Islamic based insurance known as Takaful insurance. The Commissioner of Insurance Lydia Lariba Bawa said in places where the Muslim population is higher like Gambia and Nigeria, Takaful insurance is gaining grounds. There is a Muslim community in Ghana that can be adressed by introducing the Takaful insurance. This move will contribute to the Commission’s effort to increase insurance penetration in the country.

SEC Approves Lotus Halal Fixed Income Fund

Following the approval of the Lotus Halal Fixed Income Fund offer by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Lotus Capital Limited held the signing ceremony in respect of the Offer on April 14, 2016. The offer has an initial subscription size of N1,000,000,000.00 consisting of 1,000,000 units at N1,000 per unit. The Fund will be launched upon receipt of final approval from SEC. The primary objective of the fund is to generate returns from investments in Shari’ah compliant fixed income securities and contracts, while ensuring capital preservation. A minimum investment of N5,000 is required.

Banking: Dubai Islamic Bank aims to open in Kenya

Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) plans to be operating in Kenya before the end of 2016, despite the Kenyan authorities' moratorium on issuing new banking licences. Kenyan banks have come under closer scrutiny from the regulator because of increasing bad debts, prompting officials and analysts to conclude the sector is ripe for consolidation. Three medium-sized and small banks have been taken over by the regulator since August last year. DIB had been in talks with the regulator before the moratorium was placed on the licensing of new commercial banks last November, meaning it would not affect a decision on its licence.

Islamic Development Bank to fund education sector projects in Benin

The Islamic Development Bank (BID) has given Benin 216.4 million U.S. dollars to support development projects in the higher education sector and an integrated micro-finance program. The first part of the BID aid of about 166.4 million dollars will be spent on funding development projects in the higher education sector. The other 50 million dollars will support the integrated micro-finance program. The program aims to contribute to the improvement of living conditions for rural communities in Benin. It will help to increase access to funding for small scale traders and reinforce capacities of micro-finance institutions, among others. The latest aid brings BID’s total funding to Benin to around 824 million dollars.

Islamic Banks seek Mauritanian depositors

Mauritania is turning to Islamic finance to modernise its banking sector, trying to raise the number of people with accounts from its meagre levels today and in turn increase liquidity so banks can lend more to companies. Many of the Islamic republic’s citizens are uncomfortable with western banking, opting for informal banking collectives or just “keeping money under the bed”, says one local banking executive. Dieng Adama Boubou, director of banking supervision at the Mauritanian central bank, says that the goal was to increase the number of people with bank accounts from 10 per cent today to 25 per cent by 2018, partly by promoting Islamic banking.

Banking on faith

A report in one of the dailies suggesting that Islamic banking contributed to the collapse of Chase Bank is based on unfounded information. The facts as emphasised by Central Bank of Kenya Governor Patrick Njoroge are clear; that the underlying reason for the closure of the bank was under-reported insider lending by the directors and irresponsible use of social media, which accelerated the massive liquidity problems. Chase Bank is not the first bank to collapse and several others, which had no dealing with Islamic banking, have gone under. It is therefore insensitive to blame the collapse of Chase Bank on the Islamic banking system, which has proved to be an alternative and viable finance system.

Group To Create Jobs In Agriculture Through Interest-free Loans

A group under the auspices of Adamawa State chapter of the National Council of Muslim Youth Organisations (NACOMYO) has resolved to pursue wealth creation and provide job opportunities for members of Islamic Youth organisations through Agriculture as a business. In a communique, the association further stated that the move was in line with the policy thrust of the current Buhari Administration in collaborating with NASR of the Central Bank of Nigeria, JAIZ Bank and Standard Micro-Finance Bank. The association produced a 10 point recommendation geared towards developing a framework which will see to the Socio-economic Development of the Muslim Umma in Adamawa State.

Too important to fail—addressing the humanitarian financing gap

UN study paper on the humanitarian financing gap.

Excerpt:
"The world today spends around US$ 25 billion to provide life-saving assistance to 125 million people devastated by wars and natural disasters. While this amount is twelve times greater than fifteen years ago, never before has generosity been so insufficient. Over the last years conflicts and natural disasters have led to fast-growing numbers of people in need and a funding gap for humanitarian action of an estimated US$ 15 billion. This is a lot of money, but not out of reach for a world producing US$ 78 trillion of annual GDP.

Islamic Finance: A Game Changer for Nigeria’s Economy

“Financing Development Through Islamic Capital Market – a viable Alternative" was the theme of the a recent 2ND regional roundtable on Islamic finance which held on March 14, 2016. This was towards advancing effort by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) at expanding the depth of the Nigerian Capital Market and promoting financial inclusiveness through the Capital Market. This was in line with the SEC’s strategic Ten year Master Plan on Non-Interest Capital Market. The workshop aimed at encouraging states to explore the alternative model for financing infrastructure projects through Islamic Capital Market Products such as Sukuk.

Ugandan Muslims condemn Christian hostility to Islamic banking

Uganda’s Muslim leaders have condemned the “ignorance” of church leaders trying to block Islamic banking legislation in the majority-Christian nation. Earlier this year, parliament amended a finance bill to introduce Islamic insurance. However, church leaders led by Archbishop Stanley Ntagali, head of the country’s Anglican church, has urged President Yoweri Museveni to reject the legislation. Nsereko Mutumba, spokesman for the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council, said the church leaders were just ignorant of the Quran, it has nothing to do with ISIS, Boko Haram or any other group claiming to kill non-Muslims. The Bank of Uganda is currently establishing a sharia advisory board to regulate and supervise Islamic banking.

JAIZ Bank set to roll out nationwide, few months after CBN’s nod

Jaiz Bank, the pioneer Islamic bank in Nigeria, has concluded plans to go national, few months after it received an approval-in-principle from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to extend its business nationwide. Authorities at the bank said additional branches would soon open in Lagos, Ibadan, Ilorin and Port Harcourt.

Call for Papers: Global Donors Forum, Istanbul May 2016, 24-25

Resetting Priorities - Redefining Roles

Five years ago, the Global Donors Forum was convened in Dubai to take on a challenging task: to define the roadmap for Muslim giving into the next decade. As a growing network of philanthropists, grantmaking foundations and socially responsible corporations, the Forum lead a consultative dialogue among the thought leaders from which, it was hoped, a new social compact could emerge.

Half a decade on, with the world having changed dramatically as events in the Middle East would attest, the Global Donors Forum 2016, has a new set of issues to focus upon. Foremost among these is the need to rigorously analyse the past decade in order to ascertain how best to formulate strategies to counter emerging challenges. The GDF 2016 will, therefore, attempt to set new priorities as it looks to redefine the role of philanthropy, with a focus on the Muslim world in a radically changed global landscape.

JAIZ Bank set to roll out nationwide, few months after CBN’s nod

Jaiz Bank has concluded plans to go national, few months after it received an approval-in-principle from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to extend its business nationwide. Authorities at the bank said additional branches would soon open in Lagos, Ibadan, Ilorin and Port Harcourt.

JAIZ Bank Concludes Plan To Open 10 Branches By Year End

Jaiz Bank Plc has concluded plans to go national, its management has said. Speaking in Kaduna at the just concluded International Trade Fair organised by the Kaduna Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (KADCCIMA), the Bank’s Manager in Kaduna Halilu Murtala said additional branches would soon open in Lagos, Ibadan, Ilorin and Port Harcourt. He said that this was in line with the Approval-in-Principle issued to the bank by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to go national. The bank's plan is to add at least ten more branches to the existing network of 19 branches spread across the country before the end of this year. Arrangements in fulfilment of CBN’s requirements have already been finalised, he said.

Banking representatives gather in Khartoum for financial inclusion forum

Representatives from across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) gathered in Khartoum for the Financial Inclusion Forum: the Strategic Approach Towards Financial and Social Stability, held from 23 to 24 February. More than 350 people from 11 Arab countries participated in the forum’s events, namely Sudan, Egypt, Lebanon, Yemen, Jordan, Iraq, Tunisia, Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Oman. Financial inclusion was framed as a measure to support financial and social stability in the Arab region. The participants issued a series of recommendations that would better enable the banking sectors in each respective country to ensure economic financial inclusion.

East Africa new frontier for Islamic finance

East Africa could be the new frontier for Islamic finance following the launch of the first East Africa Islamic finance summit in Nairobi. Financial experts drawn from the region noted that East Africa features a potentially strong demand for Islamic services and that its growing reach promises a number of benefits. The Islamic finance industry has seen tremendous increase in recent years transcending its traditional geographic boundaries and its entrance into East Africa could revolutionize the financial sector. The summit which attracted participants and speakers from the region’s key institutions, financial regulators from Mauritius and Malaysia and experts in Islamic Finance charted the way forward for Islamic finance development in the region.

Is Islamic banking retail-ready in Africa?

Many tout the promise of Islamic banking in Africa, but retail consumers have been hesitant in many markets. hough Muslims make up a large portion of the unbanked population in many target countries, they just weren’t coming into the fold—at least not at a significant rate. This admission may come as a surprise to anyone reading the parade of headlines about ‘unlocking the potential’ for Islamic banking in Africa. There’s been quite a few. While this is still true, the reality on the ground—literally, because we’re talking about retail here—is more complicated than that. In its recent 2016 Outlook, Moody’s Investor Services largely predicted challenging times in African banking due to sinking commodities prices, China’s slowdown and regulatory difficulties.

Buhari Welcomes Islamic Bank’s Plan to Hold Financing Roundtable in Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, said he welcomed an offer by the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) to organisze a financing roundtable in Abuja to mobilise more funds for investment and development of infrastructure in Nigeria. The president of the IDB, Dr Ahmed Mohammed Ali made the offer at a meeting with Buhari who is currently on an official visit to Saudi Arabia. Ali assured Buhari that the IDB would work with its traditional partners such as the Saudi Fund, the Kuwait Fund, Arab Bank for Development in Africa and the Abu Dhabi Fund, to increase the quantum of funding available to Nigeria. Buhari welcomed the plan by the IDB to fast track the take-off of the Bilingual Education Programme, aimed at integrating the Almajiri system of education with western education in Nigeria.

Rising demand for Islamic finance products in Africa

Nigeria's Securities and Exchange Commission and the Debt Management Office recently inaugurated a committee to oversee Nigeria's first sovereign sukuk, an Islamic financial certificate, similar to a bond in Western Finance that complies with the Islamic religious law. CNBC Africa's Onyi Sunday spoke to Samira Mensah, Associate Director at Standard & Poor's to discuss the rising demand for Islamic finance products in Africa.

Uganda: Islamic Banking Will Boost a Growing Economy Like Ours

Islamic banking can provide an array of financial products that would help boost an economy that's dominated by small businesses and start-ups. These small entities make a very huge contribution to greater economic growth. That said, many of Uganda's local banks regard these entities as "too small" and only want to characterise them as "start-ups" which they don't finance. Islamic Finance also provides for the Qard el-Hasan or a benevolent loan. Conventional banks provide these products in same form. However, there is a huge difference in the detail of how all this pans out. Islamic finance is the embodiment of the type of capital that will help boost a growing economy.

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