Muslim scholars in Malawi are expected to gather in Malawi’s commercial capital Blantyre this Sunday for a national conference which seeks to form an Islamic Banking and Financing Advisory Board that would oversee the process of establishment of the first ever Islamic Bank in the country.
Leader of the organising committee, Adilu Chilungo says the conference scheduled for Malawi Sun Hotel, will also formulate regulatory framework to be followed in the process.
“We are very much pleased are thanking our President Joyce Banda for given Malawi Muslims a chance for the first time in the history of Malawi to start thinking seriously about the establishment of Islamic Banking. So this body is actually seeking to create an enabling environment, training and regulatory framework as you know that the country is not Islamic country so to speech,” says Chilungo.
In 2011, under the late President Bingu wa Mutharika’s administration the Reserve Bank of Malawi said the central bank will not allow Islamic banking in the country “because of Sharia law elements” which has no place in the country’s banking act and the constitution.
But Shariah Investments Limited which had been pushing for the establishment of the Islamic Banking in Malawi had argued that the absence of an Islamic banking window in the country’s banking system is making Malawi lose out on potential Foreign Direct Investment from the Islamic world.
“Islamic banking can also encourage the current Muslim businessmen to be involved in Islamic finance thereby industrialising at a much faster rate and that the growth of business will be at a much rapid rate,” argued an Islamic banking expert.
Chilungo says since they are not looking for any external funding the organizing committee is encouraging Malawi Muslims to contribute towards the event “so that we can be in full control on whatever happens as Malawians”
“We hope by the end of the meeting we come up with something tangible so that we should form an Islamic Banking and Finance Advisory Board which will work hand in hand with government in making sure that all logistical requirements for this to happen are properly done and are in line with existing laws in Malawi.”
He disclosed that about half of the funding towards the event has come from African Muslims School Association, urging Malawian to unite toward the establishment of the Islamic Bank which he says will not serve Muslims alone but everybody in the country.
In general Islamic banking system doesn’t entertain interests compared to other banking systems.