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Uganda toes Nigeria’s line, begins Islamic banking October



Uganda toes Nigeria’s line, begins Islamic banking October

Uganda will be the newest country in Africa to toe the line of Nigeria in embracing Islamic banking system. The country’s Ministry of Finance has said the framework for the implementation of Islamic banking in the country has been developed and will be operational in October. Deputy Secretary to the Treasury, Mr Patrick Ocailap, was quoted by The Monitor to have said that the country is introducing Islamic banking to provide cheap credit.

“Parliament passed the Islamic Banking law, but it lacked guidelines of how to implement it, but we have set them up and we hope that by October, Islamic banking will be operational,” Mr Ocailap said at the annual Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) budget breakfast meeting.

He said government has also negotiated for $20 million (Shs76 billion) from the African Development Bank to capitalise Uganda Development Bank so that Ugandans can have cheap access to capital equipment to mechanise agriculture and promote value addition. Asked to explain the benefits of Islamic banking, Mr Fred Muhumuza, an economist, said it may not be so effective as the case in Kenya and Tanzania because it is based on Sharia law.

“They believe that instead of paying interest on the loan, you should share the profits that ac-crue from the loan and as you know our people, declaring profits is a very big challenge most of the time,” Mr Muhumuza said.

However, Mr Jamil Ndyanga, the senior relationship manager at Tropical Bank Limited, one of the institutions to implement Islamic banking, disregarded the claim that it failed in Kenya, saying it is part of the negative perception attached to it. (Ugandan Daily Monitor) Meanwhile, Alwaleed Philanthropies, the charitable foundation of the billionaire Saudi businessman Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, has donated €9m to Berlin’s Museum of Islamic Art to expand cultural education, develop exhibitions and fund the permanent display of Islamic art at the Pergamon Museum after its renovation. Among the projects the donation will fund is the “Multaka” programme, which trains Syrian and Iraqi refugees to work as museum guides for their countrymen.

The funding will also “advance the development of new educational formats and further expand cultural education at schools and the museum,” according to a statement issued by the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, which oversees Berlin’s museums.

“In a time of growing populist and extremist tendencies, such partnerships can help buttress open-mindedness in the way we view ourselves and others,” says Stefan Weber, the director of the Museum for Islamic Art. Based in Riyadh, Alwaleed Philanthropies collaborates with governments and educational institutions to combat poverty, empower women and youth and create cultural understanding.

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