The long awaited move towards the introduction of Islamic Banking in Uganda has received a boost by the pronouncement of Finance Minister Maria Kiwanuka in her 2012/2013 Budget Speech. The minister was later, on Friday June 15th 2012 at the post budget luncheon by the Private Sector Foundation, in reply to a question by Hajjat Aphwa Sebyala, to re- state “TO MUKYALA SEBYALA, MADAM, ISLAMIC BANKING IS BEING HANDLED AND CONSIDERED SERIOUSLY BY THE MINISTRY OF FINANCE AND GOVERNMENT IN GENERAL”.
Mr. Lawrence Kiiza, Director Economic Affairs, in the same Ministry stood up after the Hon Minister and confirmed that “FOR ISLAMIC BANKING, THE BILL CONTAINING ISLAMIC BANKING AND OTHER AMENDMENTS WILL BE SUBMITTED TO PARLIAMENT THIS YEAR”.
When Hajjat Aphwa shared this information with us, she also posed specific questions that must be answered by you, the primary stakeholders. Whereas Islamic Banking is not for the benefit of only Muslims, (it is the preferred banking option for a large number of non Muslims in UK) it is the Muslims who stand all to lose should its implementation fail. Hajat Aphwa challenged the Muslim community with the following questions:
1. Supposing the amendment bill is submitted and passed, are we (The Muslim community) ready?
2. Before it is even passed, it has technical issues, do we have Brothers and Sisters in
Parliament well-grounded to explain those issues to their colleagues?
3. Do we have a well-grounded team to lobby or even to explain to Parliament what this is all about? A good number of bills get through parliament because there are groups lobbying for them
4. Each Bank offering Islamic Banking may have to have a Sharia Board to ascertain that those products conform to Islamic finance principles. Do we have Ugandans well-grounded in both Sharia and Finance to sit on those Boards?
5. Are we preparing, or have we prepared our children, brothers and sisters to work in the Islamic banking Sections of the banks?
6. Where is that data Bank of our children trained in Islamic banking so we can recommend them, by the way which body will recommend them and to who?
7. What should we do in the interim?
It is on the basis of Hajjat Aphwa’s challenging questions that UMNet, Uganda Muslim Network, propose to urgently hold a Consultative Forum on Islamic Banking and Finance on Saturday June 30th 2012, 9.00am – 4,00pm, at Hotel Africana. The objective of the forum is to attempt to answer the above questions and to establish a Contact Group on Islamic Banking and Finance to push the process forward.
Mandate of UMNet
UMNets’ is NOT an implementing agency. Its mandate is in only four areas:
• Capacity Building
UMNet Proposes to hold a one day consultative forum on Islamic Banking and Finance on Saturday June 30th 2012, 10.00 am – 4.00 pm, with an one hour and a half lunch/prayer break (1.00- 2.30pm), for willing stakeholders who will be required to pay for their own participation in the forum to cover the costs of the forum namely; production of presentation material, hire of committee room, tea and lunch at Hotel Africana.
There will be two lead power point presentations, of 20 minutes each to stimulate the consultation, followed by a plenary. At the end of the plenary a Contact Group on Islamic Banking and Finance will be selected from amongst the members present. Terms of reference for the group will be provided at the end of the consultation. The group will then be required to develop a work plan of the next 30 days.
Is the prospect of Islamic Banking in Uganda a myth or a reality?
What are the necessary conditions for the introduction and implementation of Islamic Banking and Finance in Uganda?
i) Clear understanding of the prospects for Islamic Banking and Finance in Uganda by the participants
ii) Clear grasp of the necessary conditions for the introduction of Islamic Banking and Finance in Uganda by the participants
iii) Practical ways forward by the Muslim community towards the introduction and implementation of Islamic Banking and Finance in Uganda
iv) Plan to disseminate the information/knowledge generated in the Consultative forum will be developed
v) Contact Group on Islamic Banking and Finance will be formed. The group will be comprised of subject experts, Islamic Banking and Finance enthusiasts and entrepreneurs
vi) Terms of Reference of the Contact group will be developed
vii) Date for next consultative meeting and reporting requirements for the contact group will be set
a) This is an open invitation to gainfully employed Muslims and interested non-Muslims
b) Maximum number of Participants is 50.
c) Registration will be mainly on line : fill out the attached registration form and return to this email address: email@example.com copy to firstname.lastname@example.org
d) Participation Fee shall be paid in advance by Mobile Money on 0781 549 720 indicate your full name please.
e) Participation Fee is UGX 50,000/= payable in advance (if you will have lunch and two teas)
f) Participation Fee is UGX 25,000/= (if you will have only teas and no lunch).