President Alassane Outtara


President Alassane Outtara
President Alassane Outtara

Islamic Finance Forum has concluded in Cote d’Ivoire, with the country being touted as a Shariah compliant investment destination.

The two-day event on September 17 and 18 at the Sofitel Abidjan Hotel Ivoire featured discussions on investment opportunities in key African markets, and on the first day the Forum participants deliberated on a global overview of Shariah compliant transactions and the industry as a whole followed by a session on Africa’s blueprint for Islamic finance development.

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“The inaugural Africa Islamic Finance Forum 2015 is designed specifically for the benefit of local and international market players to explore the development opportunities in Islamic finance both in the Cote d’Ivoire, locally and regionally – concentrating on building the market and exploring its exceptional potential through inward investment and international collaboration,” a release states.

The Forum was officially opened by Cote d’Ivoire President Alassane Outtara, while the event commenced with keynote addresses from Albert Toikeusse Mabri Abdallah, the governor of the IDB and senior minister of state, planning and development, Cote d’Ivoire; Khaled Al Aboodi, the CEO of the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector and Cheikh Hadjibou Soumare, the president of the West African Economic and Monetary Union.

Others who addressed the Forum include Dr Sidi Ould Tah, the director-general of the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (DADEA) and Dr Ahmad Mohamed Ali Al-Madani, the president of the IDB, while the keynote address was delivered by the Cote d’Ivoire Prime Minister Daniel Kablan Duncan.

The second day begun with a panel discussion on the application of Shariah compliant tools to SME financing and microfinance, followed by a presentation by INOKS Capital on investments opportunities in African SMEs. The later session featured another roundtable on human capital, with a specific focus on what the industry really needs in relation to developing new generation of Islamic bankers, while the last dialogue concentrated on prospects, opportunities and challenges of trade finance in Africa.

“The Africa Islamic Finance Forum 2015 is a must-attend event for all industry stakeholders as it provides an unparalleled platform for networking opportunities as well as the centre stage to be at the very forefront of Africa’s flourishing Islamic finance sector,” the release by Africa Press Organisation (APO) adds.