All Africa

North Africa: UK Partners With Islamic Development Bank On Arab Women's Business Initiative

The UK and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) have signed a new Memorandum of Understanding to help boost business opportunities and create jobs for thousands of women across the Middle East and North Africa. The Arab Women's Enterprise Fund will see the IDB and the Department for International Development working together to improve the competitiveness of women entrepreneurs in the Arab world. It will also address legal and cultural barriers that block women getting ahead in business. DFID will contribute £10 million to provide grants to help poor women access markets. IDB will match this with a further £10 million in Sharia-compliant Islamic finance.

Kenya: Sharia Based Firm Lists At Gems

Investment firm Kurwitu Ventures Limited has become the first Sharia-compliant firm to list at the Growth Enterprise Market Segment of the Nairobi Securities Exchange. The company has listed 102,272 shares by introduction at the GEMs making it the third company in Kenya to list on this segment. The others are real estate firm HomeAfriKa and Flame Tree Group, a cosmetics and water tanks manufacturing outfit. Kurwitu provides investment products and services that are based on Islamic laws on finances.

Nigeria: Jaiz Bank Targets N22 Billion Investment By July

Jaiz Bank will boost its net worth of investment in Nigeria to N22 billion by July, according to the bank's Managing Director Mr. Muhammed Islam. The bank's present investment stands at N15 billion and will rise to N20 billion by the end of June by sponsoring projects worth N7 billion in the period. The Jaiz bank boss explained that most of the investments were in home-financing, automotive, industrial sector, imports and exports among others. He disclosed that the bank has a deposit base of N25 billion and a working capital of up to N35 billion. Islam said the bank would soon secure licence from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to expand its operations to all state capitals in the country, to enable more customers access its services.

Tunisia: Marzouki Calls on Islamic, West African Banks to Back Up Tunisian Economy

Caretaker President Moncef Marzouki this week received presidents and directors of Islamic banks of West Africa. The meeting discussed ways to strengthen the national economy, boost investment and find ways to finance small and medium enterprises in Tunisia (SMEs). The President of the Republic on Monday commended the signature of a strategic draft agreement between the Zitouna Bank and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) to create a specialised joint institution in Islamic micro-finance that would allow both partners to expand to Africa. He insisted on the need to speed up legal reforms in the finance field to allow Tunisian banks to integrate in Africa and overcome challenges. The IDB will contribute to the Tunisian government's programmes to meet the challenges of employment, fight against poverty and regional development.

Kenya: Insurance Designed for Muslim Herders Makes First Payout in Kenya

Researchers in Kenya have developed a pioneering insurance policy for nomadic Muslim livestock herders, which has now delivered its first payout of approximately $5,800 to 101 farmers to compensate them for drought losses. The policy, which was purchased by about 4,000 pastoralists in Northern Kenya, was developed by the International Livestock Research Institute and commercially delivered by Takaful Insurance of Africa. Since the farmers usually habitat isolated areas, index-based insurance works better than traditional insurance. For Takaful Insurance of Africa, the project is a leap of faith, as they are not currently making a profit. However, hopes are the project will eventually be self-sustaining.

Nigeria: Sanusi's Deputy, Moghalu, Moves Against Him

While suspended governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Lamido Sanusi, is trying very hard to clear his name from the indictment of financial recklessness by the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN) and the presidency, his colleagues appear to be gradually distancing themselves from actions taken during his reign at the regulatory bank. A deputy governor at the bank and once a leading contender to replace Mr Sanusi, Kingsley Moghalu, said that his boss overstepped his authority. Mr. Sanusi, however, said that he believed that his suspension was hastened after he threatened to commission a special audit of all Nigerian banks to unravel the whereabouts of the missing $20 billion. Ironically, the FRCN report also indicted that Mr Moghalu and his colleagues were also recommended for dismissal and prosecution.

Tanzania: Plans Underway to Introduce Islamic Insurance Services

Sources in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs and the Tanzania Insurance Regulatory Authority (TIRA) confirmed that relevant authorities were working on the possibility of introducing Islamic insurance. It is still on preliminary stages but the process is reportedly going on well. Introduction of Takaful will be another milestone in development of the country's financial industry following its liberalisation over 20 years ago, through the Banking and Financial Institutions Act of 1992. The insurance industry is regulated by the Insurance Act, 2009. The latest TIRA market report shows that Tanzania insurance industry grew by 20.0 per cent to 344.7bn/- in 2011, from 287bn/- in 2010.

Nigeria: NSE Screens Firms On Islamic Index

The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) has announced that an Islamic screening exercise has been carried out on the 15 companies in the NSE Lotus Islamic Index (NSE LII) and other Shari'ah compliant companies using the 2012 year-end financial statements. The result saw some stocks likely to fail the screening exercise. The NSE said possible replacements will be made to the stocks that are due to exit the index. Some of the stocks being watched for replacement are Japaul Oil & Maritime Service Plc, Honeywell Flourmills Plc and Dangote Flour Plc. The 15 companies that will make the NSE LII list and market capitalizations will be made public before the end of the month, and before the index rebasing date of July 1, 2013.

Ghana and Islamic Development Bank Join African Legal Facility

Ghana and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) have joined the African Legal Support Facility (ALSF). Ghana is now the 48th country to join the facility and the IDB the sixth international organization to become a member. The membership of the IDB shall be followed by the approval of an IDB financial contribution to the Facility of up to US$ 1 million, according to ALSF Director Stephen Karangizi. An independent body hosted by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the ALSF supports the AfDB's Regional Member Countries in the negotiation of complex commercial transactions and litigation brought against them by vulture funds. It also provides capacity building. The ALSF's goal is to ensure fair and balanced negotiations.

Tunisia: Co-Operation Agreement to Be Signed Between Tunisia and IDB

Chairman of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Ahmed Mohamed Ali said that the group is expected to sign, on Thursday, a strategic co-operation agreement with Tunisia. This agreement will reportedly open new co-operation prospects between Tunisia and several African countries, to which Tunisia could provide assistance in several sectors, whether public or private. An IDB delegation will take part in "Tunisia's Forum on Investment," on June 13-14. Moreover, IDB expressed its will to strengthen relations with Zitouna Bank, the first Islamic bank in Tunisia. Besides, Mr. Mohamed Ali pointed out that IDB is ready to contribute to the support and funding of the micro enterprises' programme, as part of supporting Tunisia's efforts in fighting against poverty.

Tunisia: IBD to Hold First Investment Forum in Tunisia

The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) will organise the first investment forum in Tunisia to be held as part of the Deauville co-operation.The event will take place in June 2013. Minister of Development and International Co-operation Lamine Doghri commended the offer presented by the IDB concerning the completion of the elaboration of a strategic partnership document with Tunisia (2013/2015).

Nigeria: CBN Reviews Anti Laundering and Terrorism Regulation

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has reviewed the Anti Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Regulation to align with international best practise as well as other anti laundering and terrorism acts of the country. The CBN said it aims to ensure that with the cooperation of operators and stakeholders in the Nigerian financial sector, the reviewed Regulations meet international best practice and FATF requirements. In view of this, it called for contributions and comments from relevant stakeholders on the draft review prior to gazetting and release of the document to the industry. CBN has commenced full implementation of its gazetted Anti Money Laundering and Combating Financing Terrorism (AML/CFT) Risk Based Supervision (RBS) framework enunciated in 2011.

Nigeria: NDIC Okays Jaiz Bank's Deposit Liabilities

The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) said yesterday that it has assessed the deposit liabilities of Jaiz Bank Plc, and that in a couple of weeks, the bank will start paying premium as insurance cover for its depositors. NDIC Managing Director/CEO Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim said the premium collected from the bank would be invested in non-interest bearing instruments. A sensitisation workshop for NDIC solicitors was organized to educate the legal team because excessive litigations remained a major challenge to developing formidable deposit insurance system in the country. According to him, other challenges are the lack of proper understanding of the distinction in the legal status of NDIC as liquidator and deposit insurer by legal practitioners, the court and the public at large.

Nigeria: Banks To Appoint 30 Percent Women Board Members - Sanusi

According to the Governor of the Central Bank, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, banks in Nigeria will be required to appoint at least 30 per cent female board members and 40 per cent management staff by 2014. The decision was taken with a view to stimulating women's participation in development and nation building. He added that this year every bank must publish its gender positions, when they publish their statement of accounts. The Central Bank will not be exempted from this. Moreover, Mallam Sanusi lamented the high rate of school drop-outs in the North where over 70 per cent of girls cannot read.

Nigeria: Sanusi - Corruption, Insecurity Threaten GDP Growth

The increased level of corruption and insecurity in the northern part of the country as well as mixed signals from power and petroleum sector reforms were likely to affect Nigeria's output performance, according to the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi. Moreover, the CBN for the ninth time in a row decided to leave the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) also known as the benchmark interest rate at 12 per cent with a corridor of +/- 200 basis points. It also maintained banks' cash reserve requirement (CRR) at 12 per cent and liquidity ratio at 30 per cent with the net open position at 1 per cent.

Nigeria: Sanusi - China Is Major Contributor to Africa's De-Industrialisation

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, has described China as a major contributor to the de-industrialisation as well as underdevelopment of Africa. He warned that with the growing interest of China in the continent, Africa was opening itself up to a new form of imperialism. Sanusi explained that China is no longer a fellow underdeveloped economy but an economic giant capable of the same forms of exploitation as the West. Trade between China and Africa was worth more than $200 billion in 2012. There has also been strong growth partly as a result of Asian demand for African resources.

Egypt: Cabinet: Islamic Bonds Not Alternative to Other Funding Tools

The Cabinet, under Prime Minister Hisham Qandil, stressed that the now-debated Sukuk is not an alternative to the other financing tools. The final blueprint of the Sukuk bill will be presented to the Cabinet next Wednesday 27/2/2013 after taking into consideration all remarks made by al-Azhar, the Central Bank of Egypt and investment associations. If approved, it will be referred to the Shura Council for endorsement on the same day. On the other hand, The Cabinet reviewed the security situation and urged protesters in Tahrir Square to allow the flow of traffic for the sake of citizens.

Nigeria: Islamic Development Bank Initiative for Women and Environment

The selection meeting for the 8th edition of the Islamic Development Bank prize for "Women's Contribution to Development" was held on February 18-20 2013 at the bank's head office in Saudi Arabia. The annual IDB Prize for Women's Contribution to Development is one of the many activities the bank engages in for the purpose of socio-economic development of societies. Effat University (EU) was entrusted to be the Academic Consultant hence handle the screening and short listing of candidates. There were two categories of prizes, one for individuals that carries a cash award of 50,000 US dollars, and another for organisations with a 100,000 US dollars award. For this year, the Panel received 108 files.

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