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AfricaMoney | October 17, 2017

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Mauritius hosts 11th IFSB Summit on development of Islamic Finance

Mauritius hosts 11th IFSB Summit on development of Islamic Finance

Meanwhile, a newly released report studies the evolution of the Islamic finance industry in Africa and notes that while Africa accounts for only 2.4% of global Islamic banking assets at present, the industry faces exciting growth prospects in the future. (Image: iMoney)

Mauritius welcomes the 11th IFSB Summit, organised by the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) and hosted by the Bank of Mauritius (BoM).

Starting today, the two-day summit will bring together an experienced international group of chairpersons and speakers to enlighten the participants and the public on the development of Islamic Finance, with an audience of over 300 delegates from all sectors of the financial services industry across the globe.

Additionally, the conference will present the attraction of the original financial products such as the “green sukuks,” “the social sukuks,” while meeting the needs of portfolio diversification, sustainable development and high economic growth rate to overcome poverty in developing countries.

This ‘sukuks’ are Islamic obligations. Participants will be given the opportunity to understand the principles of Shariah –the Islamic law that forbids the payment of interest.

The selected theme for the 2014 summit is “New Markets and Frontiers for Islamic Finance: Innovation and the Regulatory Perimeter.”

The speakers will discuss the following topics: “Global Overview of the IFSI: Outlook and Policy Developments,” “Legal and Regulatory Environment of Islamic Finance,” “Sukuk, Market Development and Regulation,” “The Role of Islamic Finance in Economic Development: Promoting Financial Inclusion: Sustaining Innovation, Expanding the Regulatory Perimeter – Striking a Balance,” and “Panel Discussion on New and Emerging Islamic Finance Jurisdictions: Opportunities and Challenges Ahead.”

A pre-summit occurred two days before the official opening of the 11th IFSB Summit where the IFSB Secretariat met the IFSB members with the aim of understanding the issues and concerns faced. This would in turn ensure that the activities planned and conducted by the IFSB are of relevance and are in line with the needs of its members.

The pre-Summit events add value to the summit proceedings and provide participants and speakers with various networking opportunities and platforms to meet, discover and discuss the Islamic financial services industry issues prior to the main event.
Besides, the central bank of Malaysia, Bank Negara Malaysia, has already organized a business forum under the theme “The Islamic finance and the development of infrastructure in Africa,” on Tuesday, 20 May 14.Bank of Mauritius Governor Rundheersing Bheenick was one of the main speakers during this conference.

Meanwhile, a newly released report “Islamic Finance in Africa: Unlocking Opportunities for Growth”, a joint publication by Kuwait Finance House Research Limited (KFHR) and Malaysia International Islamic Financial Centre (MIFC), studies the evolution of the Islamic finance industry in Africa and highlights the exciting growth prospects for the various Islamic finance segments on the continent.

The report notes that Africa’s presence in the global Islamic finance landscape is growing, albeit from a small base. Currently, Africa accounts for 2.4% of global Islamic banking assets (1H2013), 0.6% of sukuk outstanding (1Q14) and 2.8% of Islamic fund management assets (end-2013).

The report also observes that a key driving factor for the growth of Islamic finance in the region is the growing significance of trade and investment relationships between Africa and key Islamic finance jurisdictions. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)is a liquidity-abundant Islamic finance hub and its trade volume to Africa is expanding.

Between 2000 and 2010, the GCC exports to Africa grew by an average of 14.7% a year and imports increased by an average of 27.5%. On the investment side, Malaysia, another key Islamic finance country, is a major investor in Africa.According to the UNCTAD, Malaysia was the third biggest investor in Africa in 2011.

All in all, Islamic finance has tremendous potential to at least partly support the funding gaps in Africa while enhancing the financial inclusion rates in the region.

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