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Kenya launches Islamic banking training

NEWS
By JACKSON OKOTH | February 27th 2014
Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) Governor Njuguna Ndung’u. [PHOTO: STANDARD/FILE]

By JACKSON OKOTH

NAIROBI, KENYA: In a bid to understand key operations of Islamic finance, the Kenya School of Monetary Studies (KSMS) - a training institution run by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) - has introduced a course in Islamic banking.

This comes as more commercial banks open their doors to Islamic Banking products, owing to a growing demand in the market.

“We feel there is no better time to offer a course that will cover not just the conceptual apparatus, but the various opportunities and challenges that face Islamic finance, whose growth shows no signs of abating,” said Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) Governor Njuguna Ndung’u.

He said that the programme has been designed to develop human capital in participatory/Islamic banking in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) region.

“It is structured to provide an introduction to basic Islamic principles governing financial transactions in order to establish a good foundation for the understanding of key operations in participatory/Islamic Banking,” he said.

Prof Ndung’u made the remarks during the launch of the Regional Certificate in Islamic Banking programme, to be conducted at the KSMS in collaboration with the International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance (INCEIF).Ndung’u pointed at available figures which indicate that globally, the Islamic finance market is growing with investments now worth $1.6 trillion and are forecast to increase to $2.5 trillion by 2015.

“The programme will change the Islamic Finance training landscape and enhance financial inclusion especially in sub-Saharan Africa where consumer awareness of Islamic banking is growing,” he said.

In this arrangement, Prof Ndung’u disclosed, KSMS is leveraging the expertise INCEIF has developed over the years in delivering a globally recognised certificate in Islamic banking.

HUMAN RESOURCE SKILLS

“The primary objective of the programme is to build the knowledge and human resource skills base that enhances competency of personnel serving in this sector,” he added.

Local banks are increasingly offering Shari’ah-compliant or Islamic banking, as part of niche services and products to meet the needs of a diverse customer base.

Islamic banking is a system of conducting trade and banking activities in line with the principles of Islamic Shari’ah while avoiding activities such as interest or Riba.

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