Pakistan, Sudan lead in Islamic microfinance

ISLAMABAD: The demand of Islamic microfinance is rapidly increasing in order to serve poverty alleviation and social development. Its active client size have exceeded to two million now from which more than 700,000 belong to Sudan and more than 400,000 clients of Islamic Microfinance Institutions are from Pakistan.

On the other hand, Yemen, Indonesia, and Bangladesh also have a good number of clientage and Islamic Microfinance has satisfactory demand in Morocco, Senegal, Nigeria, and Tunisia.

This was stated by Muhammad Zubair Mughal, Chief Executive Officer, AlHuda Centre of Islamic Banking and Economic (CIBE) while addressing International Conference on Islamic Microfinance Business Model that was jointly organized by IRTI – Islamic Development Bank and International Islamic university Islamabad.

He further added that Islamic microfinance has been successfully utilized for poverty alleviation. He said that in a few countries including Nigeria, India, Tanzania, and Ethiopia. “Islamic microfinance is being utilized as only for Muslims communities but this is quite wrong. Islamic microfinance should be used as a business model not as religious intervention. Islamic Microfinance is a system which can be utilized and operated by all the segment of society without any religious discrimination. Yes, there is an extra benefit for Muslims that it is in accordance with their religious belief but for non-Muslim it is an ideal financial instrument for poverty alleviation and social uplifting.”

He added that there are lots of challenges faced by Islamic microfinance i.e. squeezed volume of organizations, lack of technical expertise and quality HR, lack of standardization of the products and that is why the growth is not so constant.

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