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The Global Islamic Microfinance Forum Ready to Set New Standards

The Forum will determine the Standards and strategic policies for Sustainable Islamic Microfinance Development.

The Global Islamic Microfinance Forum on Islamic Microfinance is going to be held in U.A.E on 6th October, 2013 in which the delegates of more than 30 countries are expected. The purpose of Forum is to introduce Islamic Microfinance in the global canvas as an effective tool for poverty alleviation and Social development, to set its standards, to develop Islamic Microfinance internationally and to have dialogue with International Donor/Development agencies for sustainable development.

Two days specialized workshop is being arranged after the forum in which the Shari'ah standards and marketing strategies to develop, operate and sustain Islamic Microfinance Institutions will be discussed. It should be noted that this forum is being jointly arranged by AlHuda Centre of Islamic Banking and Economics (CIBE) and Akhuwat. Akhuwat is a Pakistan based institute which has distributed US$ 47.65 million amongst 300,000 families via Islamic Microfinance.

Executive Director of Akhuwat, Mr. Amjad Saqib said that through this Forum, Islamic Microfinance will be introduced as a sustainable system around the world so that Islamic Microfinance could be properly utilized in order to take the world out of the darkness of poverty.

While briefing about the purpose and aims of this Forum, Chief Executive Officer of AlHuda Centre of Islamic Banking and Economics, Mr. Muhammad Zubair Mughal said that poverty is going up due to the failure of present microfinance system whereas in order to solve this problem, whole world is looking towards Islamic Microfinance. He said that if Islamic Microfinance is not included in the strategies for alleviating poverty then the achievement of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of United Nations would become so difficult because Muslims are 46% of World’s total poverty and United Nations has added 26 countries from the 57 Countries of OIC among the Least Developed Countries. So, Islamic Microfinance is mandatory in order to alleviate poverty from the Muslim Countries because Muslims avoid Conventional Microfinance due to the factor of interest, as Interest is strictly prohibited in Islamic that is way Interest is an important reason for the poverty in Muslim Countries. He also added that current facts and figures, as per the latest report of poverty reduction in India, China and other countries, are showing that poverty in Muslim countries is increasing day by day while in non Muslim countries it is decreasing constantly. It is worth to mentioning that Islamic Microfinance is a system, it is not a religion rather it can be utilized/operated by both Muslims and Non-Muslims for social development & poverty alleviation.

He further said that now the time has come that the International Organizations like UN, ADB, IFC, USAID, GIZ, DIFD, and IFAD etc. have to play their role to alleviate poverty from the world by including Islamic Microfinance in the strategies to reduce poverty. He said that Islamic Microfinance has more characteristics to alleviate poverty in comparison with Conventional Microfinance and it can be easily integrated with all the models of Microfinance like Grameen Model, Village Banking Model, Co-operative Model and Self Help Group Model etc. So in order to introduce Islamic Microfinance in the world, very fewer changes would be needed to make in Microfinance industry. He also added that in Global Forum the Islamic Microfinance related models i.e. Qarz-e-Hasana, Waqf, Islamic Commercial Microfinance, Zakat, BMT’s and some other Islamic approaches to alleviate poverty will be discussed in detail.

Forum shall last for 3 days in Dubai, at the end of which, a declaration will be issued while Dr. Fatima Mohammed Yousif Al-Balooshi (Minister of Social Development Kingdom of Bahrain) will be the Guest of Honor of the Forum and with some other distinguished speakers such as: Mufti Barkatulla (Shariah Advisor- Islamic Bank of Britain), Mr. Mohammed Kroessin (Global Microfinance Advisor – IRF World Wide, UK), Dr. Ajaz Ahmed Khan (Microfinance Advisor – Care International, UK), Mr. Zaigham Mehmood Rizvi (Renowned International Expert of Islamic Banking and Housing Finance - Washington, USA), Mr. Zeinoul Abedien Cajee (Founding CEO/Management Board – National Awqaf Foundation of South Africa), Mr. Mahesh (CEO – Umex Securities, UK), Mr. Saleem Ranjha (Director Akhuwat, Pakistan), Mufti Aziz Ur Rehman (Manager Shariah - Mawarid Finance, Dubai), Ms. Thamina Anwar (Founder and CEO Awqaf New Zealand), Mr. Atef Ebrahim (CEO – Family Bank, Bahrain), Mr. Mohamed El Mehdi Zidani (Director Baraka Editions, France), Justice Retired Khalil Ur Rehman (Shariah Advisor – AlBaraka Islamic Bank, Chairman Punjab Halal Development Agency, Government of Pakistan) and some Industry Specialists and Researchers from 15 countries will add value to the event with their participation.

Source: AlHuda Centre
Date: 16.09.2013 [337]

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