DUBAI Nov 7 The Islamic Corporation for the
Development of the Private Sector (ICD) plans to open two new
Islamic banks in Mali and Benin next year as part of efforts to
expand the industry's consumer base in Africa, its chief
"The issue for Islamic banking in Africa is not on the
demand side which is potentially massive, but rather it is a
supply side issue," Khaled Al-Aboodi said in a speech in
Djibouti this week.
The Jeddah-based ICD, a private sector arm of the Islamic
Development Bank, a multilateral institution, will seek to
establish Islamic financial institutions including banks and
takaful insurers on the continent, Aboodi said.
He did not elaborate on how the Mali and Benin banks would
be set up, but the ICD established Tamweel Africa Holding (TAH)
in 2009 as a vehicle to establish, acquire and manage Islamic
financial institutions in West Africa.
Senegal-based TAH, jointly owned by the ICD and Turkey's
Asya Bank, currently holds shares in Islamic banks in
Senegal, Niger, Guinea and Mauritania.
In the last two years the ICD has extended $184 million in
financing to borrowers in African countries including
Mauritania, Sudan, Gabon, Gambia and Mali.
It is also advising governments of some member countries on
how to issue sovereign sukuk. The Senegal government is planning
a $200 million sukuk, which would help local Islamic lenders
manage their liquidity, Aboodi said without specifying when the
issue might occur.
"We see sukuk as the jewel in the crown of Islamic finance
and we are currently working on the structuring issues for
several African countries. This is a development we see as
providing a tremendous boost for African Islamic infrastructure
Established in 1999, the ICD supports the economic
development of its 51 member countries by financing private
sector projects which follow Islamic principles.
(Editing by Andrew Torchia)