Djibouti:- The 12th Global Islamic Finance Awards (GIFA) and the Global Islamic Finance Summit took place at the Kempinski Palace in Djibouti, Africa. The event was hosted by His Excellency Ismail Omar Guelleh, the President of Djibouti and the Central Bank od Djibouti. His Excellency Abiy Ahmed, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia was the Chief Guest of the ceremony. The international event was well attended with ambassadors from 26 countries, senior ministers, members of the cabinet, multilateral institutions, and local & international institutions and individuals.

This Global Islamic Finance Summit was organised to provide a forum for the government and the private sector organisations to promote opportunities for investment in Islamic financial instruments and gain greater understanding of the challenges faced by both sectors. In addition, the Summit intends to highlight the potential of Africa in developing its economy with respect to Islamic finance and focusing on the role of Islamic social finance.

There were three sessions, the first was “Technology Adoption and Innovation in Islamic Banking and Finance”. The panellists discussed the importance of technological adoption for Islamic banks and how can technology ease banking and financial services for the underprivileged, the financially excluded and the enhance the experience for the banked. Technological adoption in Africa is limited due to infrastructure capabilities, however, there is still huge potential for advancements in this field.

The second session was “Islamic Social finance and its Potential Role in the Economic Development of Africa”. The session held value in discussing how social finance can be embedded in the core of Islamic banking system and social responsibility be made a cornerstone to ensure the rapid economic development of the nation and the Islamic finance industry. 

The last session was a high-powered Governor’s Panel, including Governors of three central banks from 3 countries. Eng. Ali Abdilahi Dahir, Governor of the Bank of Somaliland; Abdullahi M. Abdullahi, Governor of the Central Bank of Somalia, and Ahmed Osman Ali, Governor of the Central Bank of Djibouti. The Governor’s discussed how it was similar and different to run an Islamic financial organisation verses a conventional central bank. The Governors also touched on the possibility of having one centralised Shari’a board for all central banks in an attempt to sustain resources, share expertise and have a standard regulation.

Edbiz International Advisors has been organising the Global Islamic Finance Awards since 2011. The Global Islamic Finance Awards (GIFA) were founded as part of the advocacy campaign for the Islamic banking and finance industry. Since then, it has been held annually with its top award – the Global Islamic Finance Leadership Award – presented to heads of state or government (or equivalent) for their leadership and advocacy roles in promoting Islamic banking and finance in their respective jurisdictions or globally. The winners of the prestigious GIFA award are recognised as GIFA Laureates. This year, our GIFA Laureate is His Excellency Abiy Ahmed Ali, Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. Under his able leadership, Ethiopia is emerging as the giant of East Africa.

The highest award, Global Islamic Finance Leadership Award (Country) 2022 was presented to the Republic of Djibouti for playing an active role in developing Islamic finance within a very short span and promoting financial inclusion. The Global Islamic Finance Leadership Award (Institution) 2022 was aptly presented to DDCAP GroupTM for being at the forefront of financial technology solutions provider connecting the global Islamic financial market responsibly for over 25 years.

“This is indeed a matter of huge pride for us that the Summit and Awards are being hosted by His Excellency Ismail Omar Guelleh who was our GIFA Laureate in 2017 when GIFA was hosted by the then President of Kazakhstan, His Excellency Nursultan Nazarbayev,” said Professor Humayon Dar, Founder of GIFA. “We are the only awards body that have honoured prime ministers and presidents of the countries for their commendable contributions to promotion of Islamic banking and finance. In fact, we are second to only Nobel Peace Prize Committee in terms of the number of laureates drawn from the top echelons of the political spectrum.”

More than 30,000 global viewers from around the world tuned into different platforms to honour governments, organisations and individuals from over 15 countries across 5 continents. Our esteemed international winners who were unable to attend the awards ceremony included, Meezan Bank, Alpha Capital - Saudi Arabia, Saturna Sendirian Berhad, RHB Islamic Bank, ALAMI, Brunei Institute of Leadership & Islamic Finance (BILIF); Fitch Ratings, TEKUN NASIONAL, Standard Bank Shari’ah Banking, IBFNet Group, Albilad Capital, Prudential BSN Takaful Berhad, Islamic International Arab Bank, Cagamas Berhad, Silverlake Axis Ltd, Moody’s Investors Service, BNP Paribas Asset Management Malaysia, SEDCO Capital, Tawuniya Insurance Company, Meethaq Islamic Banking, BTPN Syariah, PT Bank Syariah Indonesia Tbk, ETHOS AFP™, Siraj Finance PJSC, Acuity Knowledge Partners, Yatim Mandiri, Assidq by Sedania As Salam Capital Sdn Bhd, Eiger Trading Advisors Limited, Ethis, Aion Digital, National Bonds Corporation, Arada, Yinson Holdings Berhad, Codebase Technologies, Malaysian Rating Corporation Berhad (MARC), Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX), Etiqa Family and General Takaful, PT Capital Life Syariah, Al Salam Bank, GFH Financial Group B.S.C., AmBank Islamic Berhad, AmInvestment Bank Berhad, His Excellency Abdellatif Jouahri, Governor of the Central Bank of Morocco; Fitri Hartati, President Director of PT Capital Life Syariah; Wan Saifulrizal Wan Ismail, Chief Executive Officer of Prudential BSN Takaful Berhad; Syed Amir Ali, President and CEO of BankIslami; Eqhwan Mokhzanee, Chief Executive Officer, AmBank Islamic Berhad; Mohd Muazzam Mohamed, Chief Executive Officer of Bank Islam Malaysia Berhad; Adam Ismail Ebrahim, Chief Executive Officer of Oasis Crescent Capital Oasis Crescent Capital (Pty) Ltd.

The institutional and individual winners received their trophies from His Excellency Abdoulkader Kamil Mohamed, Prime Minister of Djibouti. The winners included, The Arab Academy for Management, Banking and Finance Sciences, Salaam Center, Tamini Insurance Company Zakat, Sadaqah and Waqf Division (ZAWAF) of UiTM, East Africa Bank, Saba African Bank, Malaysian Financial Planning Council (MFPC), LARIBA Banking Group, International Turnkey Systems – ITS, Elzar Shariah Solution, Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia, Indonesia Stock Exchange, FNB Islamic Banking, Bank Indonesia, Dr Zaharuddin Abd Rahman, Managing Director of Elzar Group of Companies; Irwan Abdalloh, Head of Islamic Capital Market, Indonesia Stock Exchange; and Dr Ahcene Lahsasna, Chief Executive Officer of SALIHIN Shariah Advisory & Chief Academic Officer of SALIHIN Academ.


About Edbiz International Advisors:

Edbiz Corporation is a global Islamic finance think tank, headquartered in London. For more information, please visit: . Edbiz Corporation provides multiple services that balance the dual purpose of developing thought leadership in this niche industry and strengthening the Islamic finance capacity for businesses and banks. Its client base is diverse and includes financial institutions, governments, education providers, established businesses and entrepreneurs.