5 Interactive Distance Learning Programs on Islamic Banking and Finance

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Inauguration of 100 days Master plan for the Development of Islamic Microfinance industry

Under the umbrella of Islamic microfinance Network (IMFN), a special meeting of Islamic microfinance institutions was held at the capital city of Pakistan, Islamabad, today, presided by Dr. Amjad Saqib,  Executive Director Akhuwat and Chairperson IMFN, in which large number of local and International Islamic microfinance institutions took part. The rationale of this special meeting was to endorse 100 days master plan for the develop,ent of national and international microfinance institutions while uniting the Islamic microfinance institutions at signle platform, resolving the interrelated issues and the barriers.

Chief Executive Officer of Alhuda CIBE & Islamic Finance Network, Mr. Muhammad Zubair Mughal, while expressing the need and characteristics of 100 days plan, said, in analysis of the growing expansion of Islamic microfinance in the world, there is an alarming need to give Islamic microfinance industry a obvious strategy and track so that Islamic microfinance institutions may carry out the mission of poverty diminution in a brand line of action. He stated that Islamic microfinance has become an imperative need to alleviate poverty. In this perspective, Islamic Microfinance Network has designed 100 days master plan. For the advancement of Islamic Microfinance, this plan incorporates the linkages with international microfinance networks, platform for exchange of ideas and dialogues with donors about Islamic microfinance, Shariah guidance to Islamic microfinance industry, Islamic Micro Finance awareness campaign through media and it also includes structuring of standards on Islamic Micro finance.
He further said that if International multi literal organization i.e. World Bank, UNDP, USAID, IFC, GIZ etc. seriously want to eradicate poverty from the world, then they will have to include Islamic microfinance in their preference strategy. Based on current situation, the achievement of Millennium Development Goal ( MGD’s) for poverty alleviation of the United Nations seems impossible and one of the main reasons for this is not including Islamic microfinance in their poverty alleviation strategies. It is estimated that approximately half of world’s poverty reside in Muslim countries and Muslims avoid using conventional microfinance facilities due to interest, which is strictly prohibited in Islam. Hence, there is a need to introduce such microfinance services in Muslim countries which are compatible with their religious, cultural and social values. If this is not done, the world poverty will keep on increase and this can be easily proven by assessing the poverty statistics of last 10 years.

It was also decided during the meeting that AlHuda CIBE will develop guiding principle on Salam, Murabaha and Mudarabah for Islamic Microfinance Network, which will be a source of guidance for institutions related with Islamic microfinance. 100 days master plan will be initiated on 30th May, 2013 and on its completion a general meeting will be organized to evaluate the achievement of Master plan related targets#

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Islamic Microfinance Research Study initiated in Yemen: Zubair Mughal

AlHuda Center of Islamic banking and economics (CIBE) Initiated a Islamic Microfinance research study for Yemen Microfinance Network (YMN) in Yemen. This study will be conducted in the Yemen’s capital Sana’a including Taiz, Adan and Almoukla, so that the Islamic Microfinance products can be examined broadly and further Islamic Microfinance products can be developed for Yemen Microfinance sector with the compatibility of existing structure. Consequently, maximum people utilize the Microfinance facility and the alleviation of poverty would be assured.
Najah Al-Mugahed Managing Director of Yemen Microfinance Network explained the association memorandum of research study that Microfinance market size in Yemen is more than one million but only 80,000 (eighty thousand) people are barely facilitating with the services and products of Microfinance which is approximately 8% of the total Microfinance market size.  Its major reasons are; Non-existence of complete Islamic Microfinance range of products, Domination of Murabaha in Islamic Microfinance sector, increasing rate of Murabaha and percentage of interest in Microfinance are the obstacles in the expansion of Microfinance industry. An appropriate implementation plan would be prepared through this research study to strengthen the Yemen’s Microfinance sector.

Zubair Mughal - Chief Executive Officer AlHuda Center of Islamic Banking and Economics with Mohammad Al-Lai CEO Al-Amal Microfinance Bank - Yemen

Muhammad Saleh Al-Lai Chairman of Yemen Microfinance Network and Executive Director of Alamal Microfinance Bank proclaimed that Yemen’s Islamic Microfinance market is very promising and we want to make it stronger through this study so that Yemen could get a distinguished level through Islamic Microfinance. He further mentioned that this is our privileged that Al-amal Microfinance Bank won the award of Islamic Microfinance Challenge 2010 which was organized by Islamic Development Bank and CGAP (World Bank) which shows a clear understanding of our strong structure of Islamic Microfinance.
Muhammad Zubair Mughal Chief Executive Officer of Alhuda Center Islamic Banking and Economics (CIBE) said that our selection for the research study is a great honor for AlHuda CIBE. He mentioned that they have developed a strong research methodology for this study and used different research instruments e.g surveys, focus group discussion (FGDs), stake holder’s interviews, desk review of MFI’s and meetings with prestigious professionals of Microfinance industry to get primary & secondary information etc which will help to design the ideal products for Yemen Islamic Microfinance sector.

He further mentioned that the share of Islamic Microfinance in Yemen’s Microfinance sector is approximately 90% and remaining 10% are also converting their portfolio into Islamic Microfinance, Yemen Microfinance Industry will be further strengthened with the development of new Islamic Microfinance products, It will increase the outreach of Microfinance sector and help out to eradicate poverty#

Friday, May 3, 2013

Islamic Microfinance Market size touches $1 billion: Zubair Mughal

(Abu Dhabi)Islamic Microfinance is rapidly gaining acceptance in Muslim and Non- Muslim countries due to its remarkable performance in poverty eradication; because of which, this industry is making quick progress. According to our careful estimate Islamic Microfinance market’s worth has reached $1 billion. These views were expressed by Muhammad Zubair Mughal, the Chief Executive Officer of AlHuda Centre of Islamic Banking and Economics (CIBE) ,while, addressing the International Islamic Finance conference as a Guest of Honor. This conference was organized in Abu Dhabi-the capital of United Arab Emirates, in which the experts and researchers of Islamic Microfinance industry participated from all over the world. The event was organized on 14th- 16th April, 2013 in Park Hyatt Hotel- Abu Dhabi by the international research and publication organization- Emerald in association with Abu Dhabi University. 

Muhammad Zubair Mughal said that currently more than 300 Islamic Microfinance institutions are offering their services to 1.6 million clients in almost 32 countries. Due to Islamic microfinance’s significant role in reducing poverty, international donor institutions and multilateral organizations like USAID, IDB, ADB, IFAD, UNDP, World Bank and IFC etc have clearly explained their policies in different countries to further strengthen Islamic microfinance, which will ensure the quick advancement of Islamic microfinance in near future. He added that if we take an overview of last 10 years of Islamic finance industry, it can be observed that with the passage of time Islamic banking, Sukkuk, Takaful and Islamic fund etc have progressed quickly. While, in next 3 years Islamic microfinance will progress more quickly relative to other Islamic financial products.

He informed that to further strengthen Islamic microfinance, AlHuda CIBE has established an international division named “Centre of Excellence in Islamic Microfinance (CEIMF). Its major objective is to provide the Advisory & Consultancy to Microfinance Institutions so that conventional microfinance institutions can be transformed into Islamic microfinance institution and along with this new Islamic Microfinance Institutes can be established. In this regard, Centre of Excellence in Islamic Microfinance is offering its services in Azerbaijan, Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Mauritius, Indonesia, Kazakhstan and other countries. He stated that there is immense need of research in Islamic microfinance industry so that new Islamic microfinance products can be introduced. As at present, only Murabaha has 80% share of total Islamic microfinance market. He mentioned that the popularity of Islamic microfinance is evident from this point that many international universities have requested AlHuda CEIMF to assist them in incorporating Islamic microfinance as a subject in their business & finance syllabus.

Muhammad Zubair Mughal said that almost half of the world’s poverty is prevalent in Muslim countries. One of the reasons of high poverty rate in Muslim countries is the refusal of Muslims to take interest based loans. Islamic Microfinance is an essential tool to eradicate poverty from Muslim world otherwise the attainment of the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals is impossible#