Kenya’s financial market regulator said Thursday it has been admitted by the Council of the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) as an associate member, an important progress in positioning Nairobi as the premiere Islamic finance hub in Africa. The move to admit the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) into Malaysia-based IFSB is believed to help boost Islamic finance uptake in the country.
“This admission is a key step towards the development of Kenya as an Islamic finance hub in the East African region, which is a critical component in the establishment of Nairobi as an International Financial Center,” CMA Chief Executive Paul Muthaura said in Nairobi.
Muthaura said Kenya’s Islamic finance market has also witnessed substantial growth over the last few years with several financial sector institutions of Islamic orientation operating today, including two fully fledged Islamic banks and five Islamic windows including two credit unions.
He observed that based on the global trends, the Islamic finance industry in Kenya remains largely untapped based on the significant real economy funding needs, particularly in the infrastructure space, that are well aligned to Islamic or alternative financing structures.
“As an aspiring Islamic finance hub, with the right facilitative environment.—Xinhua