Two new Islamic banks in Mali and Benin

Nov 13, 2012

West Africa will soon have two new Islamic banks, said Khaled Al-Aboodi, CEO of the Islamic Corporation for Private Sector Development (SID).

West Africa will soon have two new Islamic banks, said Khaled Al-Aboodi, CEO of the Islamic Corporation for Private Sector Development (SID).Two new institutions will be built in Benin and Mali. "The problem with Islamic finance in Africa is not the demand, which is potentially massive, but the supply. This is why we must strengthen Islamic finance in Africa," he told Reuters. An outflow of $200 million will also be invested to strengthen the practice of Islamic finance in Senegal, according to the
same source. Mr. Al-Aboodi believes that Islamic finance has a role to play in bridging the current gap in the financial sector in Africa and the SID seeks to implement several financial institutions and insurance companies on the continent. This type of financing has a strong potential for development in Mali, where about 90 percent of the population is Muslim and the access to banking rate is only at 6.6 percent. However, no specific legislation has been implemented to facilitate the development of Islamic institutions. But an adviser to the Malian Minister of Economy and Finance told the website e-financeislamique.com that "reforms related to business legislation are pending, in which Islamic finance has its place". In Benin, the potential is also important, with a quarter of the population declaring themselves Muslim and they have an access to banking rate of between three and seven percent, according to estimates by the Central Bank of West African States.