Uganda

Banks want 'costly' Islamic banking regulations adjusted

Banks in Uganda have petitioned the central bank to review key regulations in Islamic banking to make it less costly for the banks. According to Patrick Mweheire, the chairman of Uganda Bankers' Association (UBA), the current regulation requires that a commercial bank that applies to offer Islamic banking must have its own sharia panel comprising nine muftis. Mweheire suggested that UBA should instead have one panel which can be used by all its members when advancing Islamic banking products to the public. UBA CEO Wilbrod Owor said there were a lot of issues in the sector that affect them and need their attention: money laundering, terrorism finance, and digital technologies etc.

East Africa rides the Islamic finance train; #Uganda next to join

Countries in East Africa are increasingly joining the Islamic finance industry as their Muslim population grows and demand for Shariah-compliant banking and finance rises. In Ethiopia the central bank is planning to develop Islamic finance in order to improve financial inclusion, while Somalia’s central bank has given licences to six Islamic Banks and two takaful companies. Both Tanzania and Kenya have recognised the potential of Islamic finance, in Rwanda Islamic finance made its debut in 2016 with an Islamic microfinance Institution. Only Burundi, South Sudan and Eritrea don’t have ambitions to set up Islamic banks. The latest regional entrant in the Islamic finance sector is Uganda. Finance minister Patrick Ocailap said that a framework for the implementation of Islamic banking in the country has been developed and will be operational by October 2018.

We can’t wait for Islamic Banking - bankers

In #Uganda more than half of the 24 licensed conventional banks have expressed interest in providing Islamic banking products. The latest to show interest is EXIM Bank. Raj Banerjee, the deputy chief executive of EXIM bank, said they cannot wait to offer this service to their wide range of customers. At the moment they are going about installing the software and assembling a team that will be directly involved offering the Islamic Banking. Mr Banerjee believes this will be good for everybody. The bank is preparing to launch its Sharia compliant products as soon as the proposals are approved by the Bank of Uganda.

Muslims demand Islamic banking

The Muslim community of Uganda asked the Government to speed up the process of providing regulations for Islamic banking. According to Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, the laws for Islamic banking have been passed but Bank of Uganda is reluctant to draft the regulations as well as issuing licenses for Islamic banking. Financial experts have often criticised Islamic banking for higher creating costs and bigger risks, a situation that has not been remedied over the years. The lack of unique frameworks by the Government to regulate Islamic banking is the other challenge, leaving the Islamic banks to be regulated as other conventional banks.

Spreading Islamic Banking in #Uganda, One Sermon at a Time

Ugandan investors are set to start a fully fledged Islamic institute called Midsoc Bank. Its promoter, Haruna Sebaggala, says it may start operations in six months, depending on licensing and funds. Midsoc Bank aims to target the unbanked population of the country, including both Muslims and non-Muslims. Currently, only 40% of 19 million potential customers have bank accounts. About 14% of Uganda’s 41.5 million population are Muslim. The nation’s largest banks such as Stanbic Bank Uganda and Standard Chartered Bank Uganda haven’t committed to Islamic banking. So far only Tropical Bank has confirmed it will offer Islamic products. Tropical Bank plans to initially run a dedicated department before establishing a subsidiary.

#Uganda to publish Islamic banking rules soon -central bank

The government of Uganda has approved regulations covering Islamic banking. Governor Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile said that once the regulations are gazetted, the central bank would be open for applications from financial institutions to offer sharia-compliant products. Uganda joins several African countries that have sought to develop interest-free banking in recent years, including Nigeria, Morocco and Senegal. Despite small populations of Muslims, countries such as Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia are also developing the sector to expand financial access and inclusion. In December, the central bank of Uganda became an associate member of the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB), one of the industry’s main standard-setting bodies.

AfDB and IsDB partner to boost agriculture and fight drought in #Nigeria, #Somalia and #Uganda

A joint initiative of the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) will boost agriculture and enhance drought resilience in Nigeria, Somalia and Uganda. Stronger ties between the two banks will help ramp up agricultural production along important crop and livestock value chains. For example, in Nigeria the Plateau State Potato Value Chain Support Project of the AfDB and the planned IsDB’s Agro Pastoral Development Project in Kano State will promote higher household incomes through productive agro-pastoral activities. In Somalia, AfDB’s Say No To Famine project is providing emergency assistance support and facilitating drought resilience building through the restoration of community assets.

#Uganda: Parliament to Pass Islamic #Insurance Law

In Uganda the Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA) is now awaiting Parliament to pass the Bill that proposes to amend the Insurance Act (2011) in order to cater for Islamic Insurance. Earlier this year, President Museveni assented to the amendment of the Financial Institutions Act (2014) that caters for Islamic Banking. Sande Protazio, the assistant director research at the IRA, said the Insurance Act was at the committee stage in parliament and the Bill would be important for the sector in opening up opportunities within the Shari'ah compliant insurance avenue. In the proposed amendments to the Insurance Act, insurance companies intending to offer Islamic insurance have to separate their assets, liabilities and expenses.

#Uganda: Govt to Extend Interest-Free Loans to Women Groups

More than 2,000 groups of women will acquire interest-free loans worth Shs43 billion from the government under the Uganda Women's Entrepreneurship programme (UWEP). According to Mr Puis Bigirimana, permanent secretary at the Ministry of Gender, women entrepreneurs are constrained by limited access to finance as they attempt to grow their businesses. UWEP will promote women's economic empowerment through entrepreneurship skills. Under the programme, groups will receive up to Shs12.5 million each while special projects that benefit a bigger community will receive Shs25 million. UWEP National programme coordinator Ms Brenda Kifuko said all beneficiaries will have to pay back to enable more women access credit. Groups that pay in the first year of reception will only pay the principle amount while groups that pay after the first year will be subject to a 5% interest rate in form of a service fee to cater for inflation.

#Uganda: 'Develop Islamic Products'

In Uganda the outgoing minister of Gender and Social Development has advised commercial banks to urgently develop products for Islamic Banking. Muruli Mukasa said the parliament passed the law and the all the communities in Uganda have accepted this model of banking. The Financial Institutions Bill 2015 paved way for the introduction of three new products: Islamic Banking, Bancassurance and Agency Banking. But Bank of Uganda still has to issue regulations that will guide commercial banks on how to manage the new form of banking.

Commercial banks to issue sharia compliant #bonds

Islamic banking in #Uganda will broaden government financing options and will ease its borrowing from the private sector, through the Sukuk bonds. According to the managing director of ABL Dunamis, Abubaker Mayanja, Sukuk funding will be available for government infrastructure projects; as long as they meet sharia requirements and the funds are invested directly into the project. He said the bonds will be issued by all commercial banks, regardless of whether they are Muslim founded or not.

#Uganda: Islamic Banking Will Attract More Money From Arab World - Expert

In Uganda the first Islamic Banking and Finance (IBF) conference was held last week. Prof. Ashraf Bin Hashim said in Malaysia, most of the Islamic banks are subsidiaries to conventional banks; therefore, they are not looked at as competitors. They are developing themselves together. IBF will widen the pool of investors and Islamic donor streams to Uganda. Instead of having only conventional investors, there will be several potential Islamic investors in the country.

#Uganda: Islamic Banking Agitators Want Four Laws Reviewed

The Ugandan government reviewed the Financial Institutions Act 2004, that allowed the introduction of both Islamic and Agency banking. However, Islamic finance agitators still believe that without the revision of the Central Bank Act, the Hire Purchase Act, The Stamp Duty Act and the Accounting Principles Act, it will be difficult for Islamic finance to deepen in Uganda. Sulaiman Lujja from the Islamic University in Uganda says Central Banks have to develop, adopt and adapt various policies and prudential guidelines.

Ugandan Muslims condemn Christian hostility to Islamic banking

Uganda’s Muslim leaders have condemned the “ignorance” of church leaders trying to block Islamic banking legislation in the majority-Christian nation. Earlier this year, parliament amended a finance bill to introduce Islamic insurance. However, church leaders led by Archbishop Stanley Ntagali, head of the country’s Anglican church, has urged President Yoweri Museveni to reject the legislation. Nsereko Mutumba, spokesman for the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council, said the church leaders were just ignorant of the Quran, it has nothing to do with ISIS, Boko Haram or any other group claiming to kill non-Muslims. The Bank of Uganda is currently establishing a sharia advisory board to regulate and supervise Islamic banking.

Uganda: Islamic Banking Will Boost a Growing Economy Like Ours

Islamic banking can provide an array of financial products that would help boost an economy that's dominated by small businesses and start-ups. These small entities make a very huge contribution to greater economic growth. That said, many of Uganda's local banks regard these entities as "too small" and only want to characterise them as "start-ups" which they don't finance. Islamic Finance also provides for the Qard el-Hasan or a benevolent loan. Conventional banks provide these products in same form. However, there is a huge difference in the detail of how all this pans out. Islamic finance is the embodiment of the type of capital that will help boost a growing economy.

Islamic Banking legalised; what does it mean and will it benefit Uganda?

Since Parliament has finally approved Islamic Banking, an increase is expected in investment from numerous Islamic Banks. Abubaker B. Mayanja, financial economist with ABL Dunamis, anticipates an increase in Capital inflow of $600m over the medium term; driven first by international banks that already include Islamic Banking products in their offering elsewhere. The second wave will come from regional players that are already in the East African market. The third wave will come from the traditional Middle East players. The fourth wave will be an expansion of Islamic finance system; insurance (Takaful), capital markets- sukuk bonds and funds, pension management, leasing (Ijara), mortgages and investment banking.

Uganda embraces Islamic banking

Financial inclusion in Uganda is expected to deepen following a move by Parliament to enact a new financial law hence paving way for Islamic banking in the country. The legislators passed the Financial Institutions (amendment) Bill 2015 on Jan.7, a decision that will see individuals who had been locked out of mainstream banking by virtue of their faith or religious affiliation able to access financial services with less hindrance, once signed into law. The law will also allow financial institutions to roll out agency banking as well as offer ‘bancassurance’ products. According to Bank of Uganda data, the country’s bank account holders stand at just four million — mainly from the urban areas — out of the bankable population of about 12 million people.

IIUI holds international moot on Islamic finance

Speakers at a conference have urged the financial institutions and civil society to play their role by supporting an inclusive financial sector policy framework for equal access to financial services.
The workshop, which was attended by the scholars of Indonesia, Nigeria, Kenya, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Uganda, Sudan and US, is focused on bringing forth recommendations that will help in devising sustainable strategy for development of inclusive finance.
The two-day moot is jointly organised by International Institute for Islamic Economics of IIUI in collaboration with Islamic Research and Training Institute, Islamic Development Bank, Jeddah.
Speaking on the occasion as the chief guest, Islamic International University Islamabad President Dr Ahmed Yousif Al-Draiweesh stressed on the Muslim economic researchers to work for devising strategies for an interest-free transparent economic system. He was of the view that financial issues be observed in the light of Islamic teachings. The IIUI president hoped that conference would bring beneficial and significant recommendations pertaining to the financial and economic issues.

UN, World Bank and Islamic Development Bank commit 8 billion dollars in Major New Development Initiative for the Horn of Africa

Leaders of global and regional institutions pledge political support and major new financial assistance for countries in the region, totaling more than $8 billion over the coming years. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the World Bank Group (WBG) President, Jim Yong Kim, as well as the President of the Islamic Development Bank Group and high level representatives of the African Union Commission, the European Union, the African Development Bank, and Intergovernmental Agency for Development (IGAD) are combining forces to promote stability and development in the Horn of Africa. The initiative covers the eight countries in the Horn of Africa -- Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Uganda.

Millennium Development Goals in Rural Africa Get $100 Million Boost

The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and its poverty reduction arm, the Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development (ISFD), have now extended more than $100 million in financing to help eight African nations combat extreme poverty, improve public health and achieve more sustainable development. In each of these projects, host governments will partner with the IsDB, the Earth Institute and Millennium Promise to carry out the projects. The combined $104 million will finance three major programs: The ISFD’s new flagship Sustainable Villages Program (SVP) in Chad, Mozambique, and Sudan ($40 million), Scale-ups of the Millennium Villages Project in Mali, Senegal and Uganda ($29 million), Implementation of the Drylands Initiative in Djibouti, Somalia and Uganda ($35 million). The $104 million will be provided in the form of Islamic finance to the recipient countries, except in the case of a grant provided to Somalia. All of these countries are members of the bank.

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