العدد الحالي: ايلول/ سبتمبر 2018       اختر عدد :
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كلمة المجلس العام

Abdelilah BELATIK

Secretary General of CIBAFI

Welcome to the 50th edition of the Global Islamic Economics Magazine (GIEM). We take this opportunity to wish all our readers a happy Eid-al-Fitr and trust you all had an enjoyable festive season. As always, it is our endeavour to keep you updated with the recent developments, current challenges and opportunities in the global Islamic finance industry. The GIEM also serves as the platform for CIBAFI to keep its stakeholders abreast of its activities and initiatives, and inform about important areas of development in the Islamic banking and finance industry.

 

CIBAFI’s Global Islamic Bankers’ Survey 2015 with responses from 83 heads of Islamic financial institutions has reiterated on the industry’s main priorities on human resources and talent development, among others. The survey revealed that there is a need to address the shortage of trained human resources within the Islamic finance industry, and that Islamic financial institutions face challenges in developing staff and other human capacity that is sufficiently qualified in leading practices of banking and finance, while at the same time proficient in the specific products and operational needs of the industry.

 

Some of the top global responses on human resources development that the survey revealed are: 1. Talent attraction from market, 2. Providing general training of Islamic finance to existing employees, and 3. Providing specialised training of Islamic finance in particular business lines to existing employees, among others. These concerns might be even more challenging in markets that are currently opening up for Islamic finance.

 

As the global Islamic financial industry is moving towards greater regional penetration and expanding into frontier markets of Islamic finance, there has been an increasing trend in jurisdictions that seek to strengthen their economies and become viable Islamic finance markets. These frontier markets include jurisdictions that aspire to include Islamic finance and banking models into their mainstream financial economies. These markets are marked by minimal or underdeveloped Islamic finance regulations, very small market shares and lack of awareness among the general population. Increasing number of markets in South Asia and Africa has shown interest in embracing Islamic finance in the recent years. These include markets such as Nigeria, Egypt, Indonesia, Mauritania, Morocco, Uganda, South Africa etc. which have or are proposing to introduce legislations to facilitate operations of Islamic financial transactions into their jurisdictions.

 

With this in mind, supply of high quality trained human capital in Islamic finance is very crucial to ensure the success of Islamic finance industry. It is one of the main priority areas where maximum efforts and resource investments of the industry stakeholders will be required to achieve the projected growth. And with growing interest from these frontier and emerging markets for Islamic finance, there will be an ever growing demand for trained human capital. As a result, to fuel this growth there will be need for a structured and industry driven professional programmes that could cater to this demand.

 

Key infrastructures that can play a major role in the development of human capital in these markets may range from universities, educational establishments and institutes of learning, both in the form of face to face learning and distance learning. However, these infrastructures may not be well equipped immediately to offer graduate or certificate programmes or full range of Islamic finance subjects, such as Islamic financial systems, Islamic banking operations, fiqh muamalat, Islamic capital markets, accounting and auditing for Islamic financial institutions, Takaful (Islamic insurance), Islamic economics etc.

 

The starting point for these frontier markets would be to develop key knowledge in Islamic banking concepts rather than imparting more advanced operations of Islamic banking. These may include how products are developed, knowledge of Shariah governance and Shariah principles and concepts in Islamic finance transactions, etc. Consequently, there will be a greater emphasis on avenues for professional development in these jurisdictions.

 

Organisations such as CIBAFI with its wide ranging professional development programmes play a vital role, while trying to bridge the demand and supply gap for the trained human resources.

 

CIBAFI’s fourth Strategic Objective is aimed at Professional Development wherein, CIBAFI is conducting a range of Professional Development programmes towards developing human capital for the global Islamic financial industry. These programmes target various industry professional levels, from industry’s top level executives to middle level management and other targeted audiences working for technical departments such as risk management, products development etc. The three main areas of CIBAFI professional training and education programmes, include Executive Programmes, Technical Workshops and Professional Certifications.

 

CIBAFI as an umbrella of Islamic financial institutions continues to monitor and address areas of challenges and identify opportunities in developing Islamic finance globally, and play a catalyst role through its four Strategic Objectives. Stay tuned!