Islamic finance: Searching for Sukuk

Until recently, Islamic finance in Africa had held more promise than progress, but that is changing. African governments are looking to sharia-compliant financial markets to attract investment from the Middle East. The Senegalese government closed on a 100bn CFA franc ($208m) sukuk on 18 July, and South Africa plans to launch its first sovereign sukuk this year. It could be valued at up to $700m. Money from the Middle East is also coming in the form of development finance. The Islamic Development Bank said in June that it is devoting $180m to renewable energy projects in Africa and plans to provide $7bn in finance to African countries by 2019.