#Kenya: CBK Licences Dubai Islamic Bank

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has licensed Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) after the bank fulfilled its stipulated requirements. Dubai Islamic Bank Kenya intends to exclusively offer Shariah compliant banking services becoming the third fully Shariah compliant bank in Kenya. The decision is seen to highlight the CBK's confidence in the stability of the banking sector, which has been experiencing turbulence in the past couple of years. DIB is a fully owned subsidiary of Dubai Islamic Bank of the United Arab Emirates, which has an asset base of Sh4.8 trillion and capital of Sh754.8 billion. The Central Bank of Kenya welcomes the entry of international brands and believes that DIB's entry will expand the offerings in the market.

#Nigeria: Islamic #Insurance Firms to Begin Operations in Nigeria

Some new Islamic Insurance Companies will soon commence operations in Nigeria, thus becoming the first set of fully-fledged Takaful Insurance companies in in the country. Five investors had submitted applications to the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), but only three of them were given approval. The remaining two applications are still receiving attention from the insurance industry regulatory body. One of the three licensed Takaful insurers, Noor Takaful Insurance Company, is expected to officially start operations in November in Lagos. The two others can commence operation latest by next year.

#Uganda: 'Develop Islamic Products'

In Uganda the outgoing minister of Gender and Social Development has advised commercial banks to urgently develop products for Islamic Banking. Muruli Mukasa said the parliament passed the law and the all the communities in Uganda have accepted this model of banking. The Financial Institutions Bill 2015 paved way for the introduction of three new products: Islamic Banking, Bancassurance and Agency Banking. But Bank of Uganda still has to issue regulations that will guide commercial banks on how to manage the new form of banking.

Egypt: Finance Ministry - Sukuk Issuance Will Be in 4th Quarter of Current Fiscal Year

The Egyptian Finance Ministry will start its Sukuk issuance project in the last quarter of the current fiscal year. The project for financing economic and social projects will help to curb budget deficit. For Sukuk issuance, a central Sharia panel of seven members will be formed. The premier will be responsible for the appointment of the panel members.

Nigeria: Islamic Banking - CBN Inaugurates Advisory Council

The Financial Regulation Advisory Council of Experts (FRACE) were inaugurated by the governor of Central Bank of Nigeria on January 10th in their headquarters. Governor Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi pointed out that the establishment of the FRACE was part of the provisions of the bank's Guidelines aimed at regulating and supervising institutions which offer financial services compliant with Islamic commercial jurisprudence. FRACE will further ensure that products and services offered by the non-interest financial institutions meet the requirements for compliance to the principles underpinning their mode of operation.

Egypt to Make Changes to Economic Reform Plan for IMF's Loan

According to Minister of Finance Al-Morsy Hegazi, Egypt is now looking for a way to change the economic reform plan in order to obtain thr IMF $ 4.8 billion loan. He further added at a meeting with the Bank Group Chairman Ahmed Mohammed Ali that a few domains of cooperation between both sides will eventually be able to ease the burden off the country's budget. Several Egyptian projects will be financed by the Bank under different systems.

Egypt: Shura Council Rejects Islamic Sukuk Bill for Violating Islamic Law

The economic committee of the Shura Council (SC) showed its support to the Islamic Research Academy of al-Azhar's decision to reject the bill of the ministry of finance on Islamic sukuk. It is said that the bill lacked legitimate aspects. Meanwhile, a new draft law over Islamic bonds has been made public by al-Azhar Grand Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayyeb.

Nigeria: Global Experts Meet to Expand Islamic Financing

A meeting of financial regulators, experts, jurists, academics and stakeholders from all around the world is coming up, aiming to brainstorm on how to strategically promote growth and realign the practices of Islamic finance and economics with a view to opening new frontiers for the growth of the industry. The 4th Langkawi Islamic Finance and Economics (LIFE-4) Global Forum is organized by the Insaniah University, College, Malaysia, together with Deloitte, Islamic Development Bank, IBFIM-Malaysia and Rayyan Ventures Ltd. It will ensure a global platform for discussing key issues around the competitiveness, growth and sustainability of Islamic finance. The LIFE-4 Global Forum will take place mid-February 2013 at Sheraton Hotels and Towers, Langkawi Island, in Malaysia. The forum is titled 'Islamic Financial Planning and Wealth Management as the New Frontier for Global Islamic Banking and Finance Industry'.

Gambia: U.S. $20.28 Million Grant to Boost Agriculture

Gambia will receive a grant of US$20.28 million from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to use for improving livelihoods of smallholder farmers. Particular attention will be paid to rural women and youths in the country. Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs Abdou Kolley and president of IFAD Kanayo F. Nwanze signed the financing agreement for the National Agriculture Land and Water Management Development Project. Agriculture is a sector of significant importance in Gambia since it employs more than 72% of the population and contribuets about 30% to the gross domestic product.

Tunisia: Local, Qatari Co-Operation in Financial Sector

On Tuesday afternoon, Caretaker Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali, Sheikh Jassim Ben Hamad Al Thani and Board of Directors' President of the Qatar Investment Bank "Qinvest" and Qatar International Islamic Bank had a conference. The meeting enabled examination of the means likely to boost co-operation between the Tunisian government and the Qatari banks in terms of finance and infrastructures. The key role of dollar denominated sukuk issuance was pointed out.

Nigeria: Sanusi - an Avant-Garde Central Banker

There have been some particularly noteworthy events during Sanusi's leadership at the Central Bank of Nigeria. First of all, he expressed his criticism of the 7-point agenda of late President Umaru Musa Yar' Adua during the confirmation hearing at the Senate in June 2009 and received high publicity. After his appointment as CBN Governor, he found confirmation of his suspicions that some Nigerian banks were just giving high figures to give the impression that they were doing well. It is obvious that Sansui's passions include banking, quest for justice, philanthropy, insightful intervention in public discourse, and vigorous defence of his own opinions. He is a contradictory person since he is supervising a western type of banking which is not in the least compatible with the Islamic heritage.

Egypt: Nation Considers Sukuk to Redress Budget Deficit

Egypt's Investment Minister - Osama Saleh - announced three days ago that the government discusses the issuance of sukuk in order to redress the state budget deficit. A work group is already formed. It consists of ministries of investments and finance and the Central Bank of Egypt to set Sukuk legal structure. Currently, the ministry is preparing to inaugurate projects affiliated to the public sector in different fields in Upper Egypt.

Gambia Shares Experience With Nigeria On Islamic Financial Services

Gambia shares experience with Nigeria regarding the preparations to developing Islamic banking in Nigeria. It happens rarely that 'little brother' Gambia gives advices to 'big brother' Nigeria, but there is no doubt about Gambia's courageous and proactive leadership by introducing the law for Islamic finance, from which Nigeria can draw upon.

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Nigeria: Minister Wants More Awareness On Islamic Banking

Nigaria's financial minister, Dr. Yerima Ngama, stated that it was necessary to assure greater sensitisation to create better awareness on Islamic banking option in the country. Thus, people would gain some understanding about the operation principles of the system. The minister also pointed out that Islamic financing was not addressed to Muslims only and that therefore the goal is to carry non-Muslims along.

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Nigeria: We Will Spread Jaiz Bank Across Nigeria - Bintube

Alhaji Mohammed Mustapha Bintube, the Managing Director of Jaiz Bank Plc, stated that even though the bank started on a low key, it has been making steady progress in terms of number of accounts opened, deposits, and numbers of proposals received every day. Of course, there are some challenges the bank is facing which it intends to adress by relying on several publicity initiatives. The goal of these initiatives is to teach Nigerian people confidence about the new kind of banking model.

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Nigeria: Cornerstone Introduces Islamic Insurance

Cornerstone Insurance Plc, Lagos, has established Islamic Insurance (Takaful) division to offer insurance products and services to the huge Moslem population in Nigeria, the chairman of the company, Adetokumbo Sulaiman, has said. The managing director of the company, Livingston Magorimbo, noted that the life insurance businesses of Cornerstone grew by 136 percent last year. He attributed the growth to product innovation, channel diversification and service excellence.

South Africa: Albaraka Bank Achieves R2 Billion Asset Base

Albaraka Bank, SA's only Islamic financial institution, passed the R2bn asset level. This compares with only R400 000 in 1999 when it was formed. CEO Shabir Chohan said that it had taken the bank 15 years to achieve assets of R1bn and then another five years to reach the current level.

Chohan said that although Muslims represented only 2% of the population of SA, he believed there were opportunities for other players in the market that could offer greater convenience and more branches.

Nigeria: Micro Bank Offers Islamic Compliant Services

Mustafa Abubakar reported in Daily Trust / Allafrica on 28 January that, The Kwara Commercial Micro Finance Bank is to offering Shari'ah compliant services and was officially commissioned in Ilorin on 27 January.

The bank will also offer other conventional banking services such as Micro loan, pay plus, small business loan and agricultural loan. The director of the bank Olayinka Blackshear said the state Governor Dr. Bukola Saraki in partnership with other interests took the initiative to facilitate the incorporation of the bank, in a bid to boost grassroots economy.

Challenges for Islamic finance in Nigeria

Chris Agabi reported on 16 January on allAfrica about the discussions held at the Lotus Capital Seminar series. Professor Mohamed L. Bashar, an Islamic finance and economics lecturer and a board member, Lotus Capital Limited has advocated for a defined regulatory framework to support the growth of Islamic finance in Nigeria, while the guest speaker Professor Monzer Kahf, and Chairman of the Sharia Advisory Board of Lotus Capital, noted that legislation may not necessarily be the biggest impediment but political will - legislation for the conventional financial system does not generally affect Islamic finance.

New Islamic Bank in Djibouti

AllAfrica reported on 27 December 2008 about the openining of Salam African Bank collaborated by Somali and Djibouti businessmen and openend by Djibouti president Ismail Omar Guelleh.

Mohamed Yusuf Ahmed Allore is said to be one of the managers.

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