The moderators and speakers from INCEIF, The World Bank, Bank Indonesia and other Indonesians representatives at the Inaugural Symposium.
Jakarta, 20 July 2017– Recognising the need for a result-based approach to promote Islamic social finance, INCEIF, Bank Indonesia and The World Bank have galvanised their efforts to jointly hold a symposium to discuss current issues and challenges on the implementation of successful social finance programmes. The 2018 Inaugural Symposium on `Islamic Social Finance Empowering Society Through Islamic Social Finance’ held at Indonesia’s central bank today was attended by nearly 100 academicians, and representatives from financial institutions and regulatory bodies.
Islamic social finance plays a key role in funding gaps in healthcare, education, sanitation and energy sectors. It covers various forms of private funding such as impact investors, angel investors, crowdfunding or venture capital which focus on investments delivering social benefits in addition to financial returns. Islamic social finance instruments have been used successfully to alleviate poverty and promote socio-economic development for centuries. However, in recent times the ever increasing income inequality gap and political instability in many majority Muslim populated countries has increased the need for social finance and economic empowerment.
The latest statistics in United Nation’s Global Issues report show that almost half the world’s population or over 3 billion people live on less than US$2.50 a day; 640 million live without adequate shelter; 925 million people suffer from hunger; 400 million have no access to safe water; 270 million have no access to health services; 10.6 million died before they reached the age of 5 and 1 billion are illiterate. Therefore, the urgency in implementing funding instruments that are aligned to the belief system of contributors and needy communities alike, has not been more pronounced than now.
In his welcoming remarks of the symposium, INCEIF President & CEO Prof Dato’ Dr Azmi Omar congratulated Indonesia on its success in implementing Islamic social finance practices and initiatives. The symposium was the best avenue to learn and document Indonesia’s success, look at their best practices and implementations, and subsequently bring these to other Muslim countries.
“I hope that today’s joint effort can be replicated elsewhere, and we can continue to promote and develop Islamic social finance globally. It is our moral obligation to help our neighbours and Islamic social finance is the best instrument to do this. There is a need to have good governance and policy so that the implementation of these initiatives and practices can be done professionally and ethically,” he added.
INCEIF Subject Matter Expert on Islamic Social Finance, Assistant Prof Dr Ziyaad Mahomed, who is the Associate Dean for E-Learning, was one of the panellists at a session on `Islamic Social Finance as a way to increase Social Development Goals’. Other panellists were Bank Indonesia Director Dr Dadang Muljawan, World Bank Financial Sector Specialist Mr Ahmad Hafiz Abdul Aziz and Badan Amil Zakat Nasional, Indonesia Deputy Mr Ariffin Purwakananta. Assoc Prof Dr Mohamed Eskandar Shah Mohd Rasid who is also Associate Dean of School of Graduate & Professional Studies, moderated another panel discussion, `Social projects based on Islamic social finance.’
Apart from the symposium, the INCEIF team also held separate meetings with Bank Indonesia, Institut Pertanian Bogor, Sekolah Tinggi Ekonomi Islam Tazkia and Universitas Indonesia to discuss IF capacity and capability building as well as collaboration in joint research and consultancy. A programme preview was also held for those in Jakarta who wished to know in details INCEIF academic programmes and executive training.
Indonesian students fall in the top 3 foreign student numbers at INCEIF pursuing postgraduate studies in Islamic finance. Since INCEIF’s inaugural convocation in 2009, a number of Indonesian graduates have bagged ‘Best Student’ awards. Currently, there are 82 Indonesian alumni who are working in a wide range of industries including academia and banking. INCEIF delegates got to meet some of them while in town to catch up on their latest career progression.