Djibouti Concludes Second Annual Islamic Banking Summit

Islamic Banking SummitDjibouti has recently concluded the second annual Islamic Banking Summit Africa, which attracted several central bank governors and more than 350 senior officials from Africa’s Islamic banking industry.

The Summit was held at the Djibouti Palace Kempinski hotel between 6th and 7th November, under the theme “Seizing Opportunities in Africa”.

Discussions revolved around formulating new strategies to expand Islamic banking and related financial services in the African market. Several experts noted that Islamic finance is a potential avenue for closing the development gap in Africa.

In underscoring the importance of revenue generating schemes such as Islamic banking to the growth of the continent, the Governor of Djibouti’s Central Bank Ahmed Osman remarked that according to the World Bank, Africa will have to raise $93 billion annually if it is to meet its infrastructure needs by 2020.

He also highlighted that Africa’s Islamic finance transactions represent only 1% of the global transaction volume, which is worth about $1.4 trillion dollars. This is despite Africa’s large Muslim population.

The head the Islamic banking division at South Africa’s First National Bank Amman Muhammad told reporters that “the international Islamic finance industry is also seeking new markets with a high rate of growth to invest funds in, so the Islamic banking and finance industry on the continent has several key factors in its favour.”

The Islamic Banking Summit Africa was first held in Djibouti in November, 2012 with official support from the country’s Central Bank. This event established the summit, which is held annually in Djibouti, as one of the top forums for Islamic Banking experts in Africa.

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