Nigeria hosts financial experts, decision-makers at the 3rd Africa Islamic Finance Forum

Nigeria, Sudan, South Africa and Senegal, Kenya, among others have put in place legal and regulatory frameworks to enable Islamic banking offerings

The two-day Forum which is kicking off Tuesday, March 27, 2018, will end on Wednesday, March 28, 2018, at the Eko Conference Centre, Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Africa Islamic Finance Forum (AIFF), the 3rd edition is jointly organised by the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) a member of the Islamic Development Bank Group.

The Federal Ministry of Finance in a press statement said the Forum will serve as a networking platform for the business and finance communities, facilitate the forming of partnerships among businesses and provide a catalyst for business development in Nigeria in particular, and the African continent in general.

"The Forum will create awareness among participants about existing various Islamic Finance Instruments which are ready to support the government’s need for raising capital for large infrastructure projects and enhance individual and SMEs access to financial services."

"Many experts in Islamic Finance would present papers, including one entitled “Islamic Finance as a tool for Development and Growth and the interface between Public and Private Sectors” by Executive Director, Finance and Strategy, Sterling Bank."

"There would also be a Special Technical Seminar on Islamic Finance, business networking opportunities and panel discussions focusing on Small and Medium Enterprises Finance, Insurance, Reinsurance and Infrastructure financing, among others, " the statement reads.

Mohammed Al Ammari, the acting CEO & General Manager, Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), said: “The forum will serve as an excellent platform to meet senior decision-makers from African firms and development banks as well as leading bankers and corporates. Moreover, this forum is part of ICD's long-term commitment to the economic development of Nigeria and our member countries.”

The second edition of the Africa Islamic Finance Forum took place at the Sofitel Abidjan Hotel Ivoire in October 2016.

Nigeria, Sudan, South Africa and Senegal, Kenya, Morocco and Niger among others have put in place legal and regulatory frameworks to enable Islamic banking offerings in their jurisdictions. There are already more than 50 Islamic financial institutions in Africa.

AIFC believed that Africa is one of the world's largest untapped growth markets for Islamic economy and Islamic finance offers various instruments that are ready to support the governments' need for raising capital for large infrastructure and enhance individual and SMEs access to financial services.

In Nigeria, first Islamic banking institution, Jaiz Bank Plc was granted a license to operate as a national bank in 2016.

Alhaji Umar Abdul-Muttalab, chairman of the board of directors of the bank, had said the bank plans to expand its branches across the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory within the coming months.

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