Dr. Hajjar Addresses 6th International Islamic Finance Forum (IFF) West Africa

Dakar, Senegal, 7 June 2021 – The capital city of Dakar in the Republic of Senegal has played host to the 6th International Islamic Finance Forum (IFF).

In his virtual address to the event, Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) President, Dr. Bandar Hajjar, said that the Islamic finance industry will play a central role in leading the change in the finance industry with a proven resilience during the 2008 crisis

The meeting which was held in person in Dakar was attended by Senegal’s Finance and Budget Minister, Mr. Abdoulaye Daouda DIALLO while several high ranking officials virtually took part in the meeting including Malaysian Minister of Religious Affairs, Mr. Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri, and CEO of African Institute of Islamic Finance (AIIF), Mr. Mouhamadou Lamine MBACKE.

Dr. Hajjar told participants that the whole financial intermediation value chain is slowly being filled with technology platforms that can potentially threaten to replace key regulatory institutions, including central bank currencies.

He then touched upon two inevitable fundamental shifts in the financial industry namely ‘connecting finance to the real economy rather than artificial bubbles’ and ‘embracing rather than resisting the new decentralized world of emerging financial services’ in order to make finance and enabler of economic growth and fund innovation   

“IsDB has championed Islamic finance as one of its core sectors. We are currently working on a Global Report that considers all such trends affecting the future of finance to propose a new way forward for the industry and we would be delighted to partner with key industry players to develop a unifying global vision”, Dr. Hajjar underlined.

The IsDB President also reiterated that to bring the Islamic finance sector into the Fourth Industrial Revolution era, the Bank has developed, a fast-track Action Plan to leapfrog the latest development and lead this transformation in the best interest of its member countries. “This Action plan is a road map that comprehensively addresses all the financial sector failures in delivering steady positive economic outcomes while encompassing the opportunities provided by the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” he noted.

A plenary session that preceded the main event saw speeches and presentations by several senior participants including President of Senegal’s National Union of Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (UNICCIAS), Mr. Serigne MBOUP; Acting CEO of IsDB Institute (IsDBI), Dr. Sami Al Suwailem; CEO of the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), Mr. Ayman Sejiny; CEO of Malaysia’s Halal Development Corporation (HDC), Mr. Hairol Ariffein Sahari, as well as Head of IsDB’s Center of Excellence in Kuala Lumpur, Mr. Mohamed Abida.

The first of the two-day event, also hosted a workshop on ‘Halal Business: Releasing the Potential of West Africa.’

Since its inception, the Islamic Development Bank has been laying the foundations of an Islamic financial system, creating markets for Islamic products, developing its regulations and policy, and enabling the establishment of Islamic financial institutions throughout its membership.