IBF industry shows steady growth worldwide

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CIBAFI drives Islamic financial industry

Observer Report

Manama—The General Council for Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions (CIBAFI), the global umbrella of Islamic financial institutions, continues to propel Islamic financial industry with its Professional Development initiatives. As a strong proponent of ethical and responsible finance, Islamic banking and finance industry has seen a steady growth in its popularity and has expanded in many countries around the globe. Seen as an alternative to conventional finance in many jurisdictions, the industry has shown a remarkable annual growth rate in the last decade. To fuel this growth and sustain the development of the industry, there is an ever growing demand for trained human capital that are equipped with knowledge and expertise in order to meet the markets needs and take the industry to the next level.
Both aspiring and existing professionals for the Islamic finance field are expected to possess financial knowledge, which is coupled with know-how on Shariah principles, standards, guidelines and best practices that are established by governing, regulatory and standard setting bodies, etc. With this in mind, human resources have emerged as a significant concern in a number of areas of Islamic banking and finance industry. This has been resonated clearly in the Global Islamic Bankers’ Survey (GIBS) report published by CIBAFI in November 2015, with 83 heads of Islamic financial institutions voicing their main priorities on human resources and talent development, among others. The survey revealed that Islamic financial institutions face peculiar 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.
In response to these industry needs, as well as part of its Strategic Objective 4–Professional Development, CIBAFI is conducting a range of Professional Development programmes that are targeted towards equipping different levels of financial experts within and outside of the global Islamic financial industry. CIBAFI’s Professional Development initiatives broadly offer three main areas of training and development: Executive Programmes: Executive Programmes are offered by CIBAFI on its own or in partnership with world top business schools. EP’s are meant to equip the C-suite level executives and provide a strategic perspective on the key issues facing the Islamic finance sector. Eminent experts from the industry share their insights and discuss breakthrough ideas and strategies that help executives tread the future course of the industry. The programme offers an opportunity to benchmark and improve leading practices among the top industry leadership, and keep them abreast with real challenges and opportunities the industry offers.
Technical Workshops: These programmes introduce and discuss key concepts and principles of some of the important areas in finance for professionals who work for Islamic financial institutions. The programmes benefit the middle level personnel with the required technical know-how, while enhancing their skills and knowledge that would enable them to perform better and improve their technical effectiveness in their institutions. Technical Workshops cover various practical learning experiences, which include mechanisms and processes in areas such as products development, liquidity management, Islamic banking services, Islamic capital markets and others.
Professional Certifications: CIBAFI professional certifications cover wide range of topics and levels of programmes. These include professional Certification courses, Professional Diplomas and Professional Executive Masters in Islamic finance. The programmes cater to enhance knowledge in relevant areas of the industry, which include Capital Markets, Trade Finance, Takaful, Sharia Auditing, Accounting, Governance & Compliance, Risk Management etc. CIBAFI also conducts customised in-house trainings for banking and financial institutions.
All CIBAFI Professional Development Programmes are accredited by its Accreditation Board (AcB), consisting of members from Islamic Economics Institute – King Abdulaziz University, International Sharia Research Academy (ISRA), Saleh Kamel Centre for Islamic Economy (at Azhar University), Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI), Fiqh Academy and the Institute of Banking Studies, Jordan.
Professional Certification programmes run in more than 15 countries via CIBAFI 27 certified agents. Close to 500 professionals have been trained during 25 training sessions in the first half of 2016 from Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Palestine, Turkey, Egypt, Sudan, Libya, Tunisia, Morocco, Mauritania, Spain and the United Kingdom. So far, more than 60 Institutions have benefited from CIBAFI professional development initiatives, which include Islamic banks, Takaful companies, investment companies, financial regulators, institutions of higher learnings.—BNA

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