Edbiz Corporation announced that the preparations for holding the 7th Global Islamic Finance Awards (GIFA) at Astana, the capital city of Kazakhstan, entered final stage, with the confirmation of His Excellency Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, and His Excellency Ismail Omar Guelleh, President of the Republic of Djibouti, as Guests of Honour. A large number of distinguished delegates from the countries comprising the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and other parts of the world will participate in the GIFA Awards Ceremony to be held at the newly-opened Hotel Hilton Astana on September 6, 2017. This year’s GIFA is special in that it is part of the official agenda of the on-going Expo 2017 in Astana.
The awards ceremony will officially be hosted by Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC). A number of top government officials from the GCC and the Central Asian states will attend the star-studded event. The crème de la crème of Islamic financial fraternity will be acknowledged and awarded for their contributions to the US$2.293 trillion global Islamic financial services industry. “We take pride in holding the Number One Islamic finance awards programme in the world in the beautiful city of Astana; this is due to the ever-increasing importance of Astana in Islamic banking and finance,” said Professor Humayon Dar, Founder and Chairman of Global Islamic Finance Awards. “We had a dream to make GIFA as the most prestigious Islamic finance awards programme when we founded it in 2011, and now we are absolutely delighted to see GIFA emerging as an unchallenged leader in the global Islamic financial advocacy landscape,” he continued.
The top award – Global Leadership in Islamic Finance Award – is presented every year to a head of state or government or equivalent personality in stature and significance. The winner is crowned as a GIFA Laureate. The previous GIFA Laureates have include: H.E. Tun Abdullah Badawi, Former Prime Minister of Malaysia (2011);  HRH Sultan Nazrin Shah of Perak, Malaysia (2012);  H.E. Shaukat Aziz, Former Prime Minister of Pakistan (2013); H.E. Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of Kazakhstan (2014); HRH Muhammadu Sanusi II, Emir of Kano, Nigeria (2015); and H.E. Joko Widodo, President of Jakarta (2016). This year’s GIFA Laureate will be another Head of State from a Muslim country, who will receive the Global Leadership in Islamic Finance Award 2017 from H.E. Nursultan Nazarbayev, the 2014 GIFA Laureate.
Only top of the top institutions and individuals are chosen to receive GIFAs every year. The hallmark of the Awards Ceremony will be presentation of the Islamic Finance Personality of the Year Award 2017 to a leading personality in the global Islamic financial services industry. “We shall also present other top awards like Islamic Banker of the Year Award, GIFA CEO of the Year Award, and Takaful CEO of the Year Award to some of the most distinguished leaders in Islamic banking and finance,” said Dr. Sofiza Azmi, CEO of Edbiz Corporation and the Chairman of Nominations Committee.
A large number of Islamic finance professionals from the USA to Malaysia will gather to celebrate the success of Islamic banking and finance in one of the most vibrant cities in the Central Asian region. The selection process has ended and the final list of winners will be disclosed in the Awards Ceremony.—Reuters