Uganda hosts First Sub-Saharan Africa Islamic Finance Convention


In short
The suitability of Islamic financial products such as Sukuk to meet the burgeoning large-scale infrastructure funding requirements in Africa, as well as the industrys potential to play a more meaningful role in financial deepening and inclusion on the continent are further adding to the positive momentum of Islamic finance in Africa.

Islamic Finance in Sub-Saharan Africa is predicted to have a promising future in light of exciting growth opportunities for the sector to flourish in key markets across Africa.

This has been part of the deliberations by Islamic banking industry leaders at the at the first Sub-Saharan Africa Islamic Finance Convention 2016, which opened on Tuesday in Kampala.

The convention attended by more than 200 industry players representing over 70 international organizations comes as Uganda prepares to bring Isalmic Banking as part of the financial services in Uganda.

Fabian Kasi, Chairman of the Uganda Bankers Association said the financial sector has been growing rapidly in some t Sub-Saharan African countries.

He noted that the introduction of a variety of new products and financial institutions are playing an imperative role in financial intermediation, including cross-border financial flow.

Kasi said Islamic finance is increasingly becoming an integral part of the country's financial sector, and its impact on the competitive landscape is already being felt in some ways.

Besides the prospect of growing retail banking in the country, Kasi  Islamic financing vehicles are also well placed to fund a larger share of infrastructure development projects in the future.

He said the Sub-Saharan Africa Islamic Finance Convention gives us an important opportunity to listen to and network with a growing community, while laying further emphasis on addressing what challenges lie ahead for the banking and finance community across Africa.

Jaafar Abdulkadir, Head of Islamic Banking of KCB Bank Group, said that: "As home to an increasing Muslim demographic, the impact on demand for Islamic finance in Africa will be sizable.

He said inadequate access to funds is a major developmental constraint for Africa and many SMEs, entities and entrepreneurs remain outside the mainstream banking system.
Abdulkadir  noted that Islamic finance has the potential to be a catalyst for financial inclusion across Africa and can become an important source of capital for small companies and individuals.

He said Africa's challenges, including infrastructure financing and the need for wider access to financial services, also provide an opportunity for the Islamic finance industry to grow.

KCB Group recently unveiled its Islamic banking unit in a move aimed at tapping into the growing demand for Islamic financial products, especially across the East African region.  


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