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.

Jeffrey Sachs' Millennium Villages to expand with £67m loan

The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) is to provide $104m (£67.3m) in loans to African governments to fund an expansion of Millennium Villages, the controversial project led by Jeffrey Sachs, director of Columbia University's Earth Institute. About $40m of the money will go towards a flagship sustainable villages programme (SVP) in Chad, Mozambique, and Sudan. In addition, $29m will support the extension of existing Millennium Village projects (MVPs) in Mali, Senegal and Uganda, while $35m will be used for a drylands initiative in Djibouti, Somalia and Uganda. Governments will team up with the IsDB, the Earth Institute, and its partner, Millennium Promise, to carry out the projects. The Millennium Village project covers more than 500,000 people in 14 areas of 10 countries in different environments across Africa. Each site was considered a "hunger hot-spot" at the time the project began in 2006. The concept works on the principle of interventions across several key areas – health, education, enterprise and agriculture – over a 10-year period.

Don’t grab land, invest in the locals

Multinational corporations and nations buy up land in foreign countries, most of them intending to export the production. Oxfam recently published a report about this phenomenon, called land-grabbing and its problems for the local societies. However, the Oxfam’s study also gives recommendations for a possible solution to the dilemma.

What Ugandans need is Islamic banking

Contact Group on Islamic Banking had used the 12th Bank of Uganda annual eid party as an opportunity to discuss with bank governor of the Uganda's central bank the introduction of Islamic banking. Uganda's Muslims believes that the country should introduce other forms of banking systems due to their unique characteristics, especially Islamic financing, which is putting emphasis on worthiness, fairness and profitability.

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Kenya freezes new Takaful licenses

Kenya has blocked the licensing of new Takaful companies until a suitable law to manage them is completed. This gives Kenya’s existing Takaful firms the opportunity to grow unrestrained by new competition. But the regulator’s strategy risks losing its position as the leading IF hub in East Africa to neighbors Tanzania and Uganda, who have put no such restrictions on new local and foreign firms entering their markets.
At present Kenya’s insurance law does not admit Takaful as a standalone product, although the law empowers the IRA to launch ad hoc regulations authorizing individual operators on a case-by-case basis to sell Takaful products. The insurance law also does not permit companies to invest in offshore assets, locking out Kenyan Takaful entities from established capital markets in the Middle East and Asia.

Uganda set for IF banking

Investors from the UAE have invested UGX12bn ($4.8m) in the National Bank of Commerce, formerly Kigezi Bank of Commerce, with the purpose of raising shareholder dividends and introducing Islamic banking in Uganda.
There are more than 200 local shareholders and a lobby group from them approached NBC’s management to ask for loans to help them invest in agriculture – something that the Emiratis were very interested in so they can secure food stability.

Is Uganda ready for Islamic banking?

The OIC (Organisation of Islamic Conference) Business Forum was held on June 2008 in Uganda.
At that point it was declared that the National Islamic Bank would be set up in Uganda. This will bring Uganda in line with some other EAC member countries like Kenya that have already opened their doors to this form of banking. Such new banking products will increase the depth, breadth and range of finance products bank customers can use to access banking services and as an alternative to the current interest bearing financial products under the conventional banking system.

Outdated laws hold back growth in Islamic banking

The slow rate of reforms on laws governing Islamic banking is holding back the sector’s growth potential in the region and its contribution to the economy.
As a result, Kenya risks losing investment to Uganda that has fully revised its banking rules and regulations to cater for Islamic financial institution needs. The country has attracted the attention of investors from as far as the Middle East who are now eyeing establishing banks in the neighbouring country.

Middle Eastern Banks Apply to Offer Islamic Financial Services in Uganda

Uganda has received applications from three Islamic banks in the Middle East to offer Shariah- compliant financial services in the country.
The African nation is changing its banking rules to allow lenders to operate under Islamic law and representatives from its central bank are in Jakarta to learn from Indonesia’s experience. Southeast Asia’s largest economy, home to the world’s largest Muslim population, passed a law in 2008 to allow banks to offer services that comply with Islam’s ban on interest.

Uganda asks for Indonesia advice on sharia banking

The Ugandan central bank is currently struggling to address demands for the first sharia bank in the East African country.
Bank of Uganda, the republic’s central bank, has therefore sent delegates to Indonesia, home to the world’s largest Muslim population, to learn more about Islamic finance.

Uganda set for Islamic banking

Uganda has received applications from three Islamic banks in the Middle East to offer Shariah-compliant financial services in the country.
The African nation is changing its banking rules to allow lenders to operate under Islamic law and representatives from its central bank are in Jakarta to learn from Indonesia’s experience.


Uganda: Global Trust Bank to introduce Sharia banking reported on 18 December that Global Trust Bank considers to introduce Sharia banking. Global Trust Bank was recently created and has its headquarters in Nigeria.

Richard Byarugaba is the Managing Director and told journalists that the bank is going to carry out a survey in the Ugandan market to see whether Ugandans need and are ready for such a product of sharia banking.

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