Kenya urged to adopt Islamic Microfinance to tackle poverty
Participants in the Global Islamic Microfinance Forum at the Intercontinental Hotel in Nairobi. Kenya has been urged to adopt Islamic microfinance business models to help lift many families out of poverty and boost financial inclusion of disadvantaged groups in the country. Delegates from 28 countries participating in the Global Islamic Microfinance Forum in Nairobi heard that Islamic Microfinance offers greater access to interest-free capital thereby enhancing economic fortunes of disadvantages individuals and groups.
Islamic Microfinance, which is yet to gain a strong foothold in Kenya, is part of the larger Islamic Finance industry which offers services in banking, insurance (Takaful), and bonds (sukuks). “Islamic Microfinance is mainly concentrated in Middle-East and Asian countries but it needs to expand to Kenya and Sub-Saharan Africa to help minimise poverty and financial exclusion,” said Mr. Muhammad Zubair Mughal, CEO of Al Huda Centre for Islamic Banking and Economics, which organised the forum.
He added: “There is a large population in Kenya and Sub-Saharan Africa which remains underserved by microfinance based on interest-free loans. Islamic microfinance is not meant for Muslims only but all people regardless of their religious affiliations.” The two-day forum, the first in Africa, organised by the Dubai-based organisation is meant to enhance awareness about Islamic Microfinance and its benefits in tackling extreme poverty.