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Local bank to train staff in Islamic finance

CARTOON
By | October 19th 2009

By Ally Jamah

A local Islamic bank has unveiled plans to offer Diplomas and Certificates in Islamic banking and finance to meet the needs of a fast growing niche market.

First Community Bank’s (FCB) Chief Executive Officer Nathif J Adam said the bank is linking up with international universities in the Middle East and Asia to bridge a skills gap in that field.

"Islamic banking and finance is expanding rapidly and we need to train people who will serve in positions being created in this market," he said

Mr Adam was speaking while launching the Islamic Finance Training centre at the bank’s South C branch in Nairobi. The centre will train the bank’s staff as well as offer consultancies on Islamic banking and finance for local and international organisations.

Some of the key staff are yet to fully grasp the principles of Islamic banking and finance, leading to costly blunders.

This is the first time in Kenya that Islamic banking and finance will be studied as a professional subject.

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Some Kenyan Universities are also considering offering similar courses as the credibiiity of islamic finance is rising rapidly.

Currently, Kenya has two islamic banks — FCB and Gulf African Bank — the only ones in East and Central Africa.

Opportunities in Islamic finance are expected to increase as FCB unveils its investment and insurance products before the end of the year. The bank will open six new branches, mostly in North Eastern Province by the end of the year, bringing the total to 17.

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