The 9th Global Islamic Microfinance Forum was successfully concluded at Governor House Lahore, Pakistan. The purpose of that forum was to promote, strengthen and unite the organizations of Islamic microfinance (IsMF) with the theme of Financial Inclusion through enterprise development for poverty alleviation. Eminent Speakers and industry professionals from well serving organizations related to Microfinance, Islamic microfinance, micro insurance and NGOs participated in the event. The aim of the forum was to discuss the outreach strategies, financial inclusion enterprise development by gathering stakeholders under one roof. The forum was organized by AlHuda Centre of Islamic Banking and Economics in association with Akhuwat Pakistan and Punjab Development Network, in partnership with multilateral organization Islamic Corporation for Development of Private Sector (ICD).
AlHuda arranged an impressive lineup of speakers from different countries with the revealing sessions on the subject matter to explore more options for Islamic Microfinance industry. Dr. Amjad Saqib, Founder of Akhuwat Pakistan inaugurated the forum by saying that Islamic microfinance is the need of the time and this can be used as a weapon for the poverty alleviation. He further explained how Akhuwat model and different products are playing its role to alleviate the poverty in Pakistan. He also appreciated the efforts of AlHuda Centre of Islamic Banking and Economics. Dr Amjad Saqib, highlighted the ways of poverty alleviation through qard e hasna in Islamic microfinance through which Akhuwat is providing small loans to more than 5 lac people across Pakistan. The services of Akhuwat, Pakistan is not only limited to Pakistan rather in other countries of the world. The research on Akhuwat Model in different universities of the world is the best example of it. He further added that poverty is a world phenomenon and mostly growing in the Muslim countries. It is recommended that we chalk an international strategy to alleviate poverty from Muslim world through means which could be near to the Islamic traditions and religious norms and Islamic microfinance is the best solution of that.
Addressing to the inaugural session, the Chief Guest of the Ceremony H.E. Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar, Governor of the Punjab said: Islamic Microfinance should be utilize as system of poverty alleviation for Muslims and Non- Muslim world, he pursued the participants “There are various challenges among the Muslim World, but if we look at our figures we can see the opportunities therein. Islamic Microfinancing is a catalyst to empower enterprise development and a viable and sustainable vehicle for inclusive economic growth”
By addressing the event participants, Mr. Dato’ Abu Ubaidah Kemin, Founder- Bankwaqf International, Malaysia, discussed about the Islamic microfinance challenges and opportunities. To attract the attendees he talked about how IsMF institutions can balance among donors, clients and governments. Mr. Sheikh Mohamed Issa, Technical Resource Person- Center for Islamic Finance, Compliance and Advice (CIFCA), Dar es Salam, Tanzania explained about the necessity of Islamic microfinance by focusing on economic justice. He further present the different aspects of Islamic microfinance. He also explain the reasons of poverty and its solution through Islamic microfinance and discussed about the relevant IsMF product to alleviate the poverty in order to enhance the living standards of poor along with its implementation strategy.
Addressing to the audience, the organizer of 9th Global Islamic Microfinance Forum, Mr. Muhammad Zubair Mughal, Chief Executive Officer, AlHuda CIBE said that there is no religion of poverty but it can be alleviated through methods defined in religion and Islamic microfinance is the best example of this. Muslims and non-Muslims can equally take benefit of this micro-financing. He added that in Muslim world, poverty is rapidly increasing to its dangerous level. The main reason of this is the non-availability of such sources which are near to their religious values. He said that recent researches of World Bank and international organizations show that there exist chances of poverty in the non-Muslim world and the only solution is Islamic Microfinance. If Islamic microfinance is over looked in such a way then there are no chances United Nations Organization meets the Millennium development Goal.
In the forum, delegates from Ansar Financial & Development Corporation- Canada, Finmaal, Dubai – UAE, Azam Foundation, Pakistan, Bankwaqf International Malaysia, Westminster International University, COMSATS University Islamabad UK and many other delegates from different countries participated in it. In the forum Financial Inclusion, Outreach Strategies and Innovations, Shariah Structuring for the development of Islamic microfinance, Sustainability, and FinTech were discussed in the broader perspective. At the end of the forum Islamic Microfinance product and a book was launched by one of the Islamic micro-financial institution from Pakistan. The Global Islamic Microfinance Forum was held in Turkey, Azerbaijan, Pakistan, Malaysia, and Kenya before.