INCEIF Ventures Into Algeria

The virtual MoA signing ceremony was witnessed by Malaysians and Algerians.

Kuala Lumpur, 26 November 2020 – INCEIF today signed a Memorandum of Agreement with Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Assurance (EHEA or The School of Higher Insurance Studies) of Algeria.

With the encouragement of the Algerian Ministry of Finance, EHEA was established in 2010 by 16 insurance companies in Algeria who are members of UAR (Insurance & Reinsurance Union). EHEA seeks to contribute to the development of human capital in tandem with the growth of the insurance industry, through high level training with international partners.

In April this year, INCEIF and research academy ISRA signed a Memorandum of Understanding with EHEA in April 2020, with the areas of collaboration to include:

  1. a) Potential offering of online Master programme;
  2. b) PhD/Masters mobility programme;
  3. c) Collaborative research and publication;
  4. d) Exchanging joint organisation of Islamic finance workshops, trainings, short courses and meetings on research issues; and
  5. e) Collaborating on potential areas of common interests to enhance knowledge and raise competency in Islamic finance.

With the MoA today, INCEIF and EHEA will work towards the eventual launch of INCEIF’s Executive Masters in Islamic Finance (eMIF) in the French language for the Algerian finance industry.  French is the world’s fifth most spoken language with some estimates putting the number of French speakers at 700 million by 2050 with 80 per cent of them in Africa. As a postgraduate university focusing in Islamic finance, with a student population from over 70 countries including Algeria, this development bodes well for INCEIF’s quest to share its thoughts and expertise with a wider global audience. Islamic finance can now be actively promoted in Francophone countries in a language familiar to the population.

To mark the occasion, a virtual event was held which was attended by audiences in Malaysia and Algeria. In their brief remarks, President of EHEA Mr Seba Hadj Mohamed and President of Union of Insurance and Reinsurance Mr Youcef Benmicia, said the collaboration would contribute towards human capital building for the finance industry in Algeria.

INCEIF PCEO Prof Dato’Dr Azmi Omar (left) and EHEA Director general Dr Réda Gourine with the signed agreements

Algeria is Africa’s largest nation and home to 43 million people, 99% of whom are Muslims. The first Islamic bank to open its doors, in 1991, in Algeria was Banque Al Baraka d’Algérie. Another, Al Salam Bank started to offer Islamic finance services in 2008. In August, the media reported that state-run National Bank of Algeria had announced nine Islamic financial services. Algeria’s other banks – all state-run – were expected to follow suit by the end of the year, while most foreign banks also planned to sell Islamic finance products. In September, the Finance Ministry announced that Algeria would launch takaful services at state-owned companies as the government sought to boost the country’s Islamic finance industry in a bid to diversity its economy.

Bank Negara Malaysia Assistant Governor Mr Adnan Zaylani Mohd Zahid, in his speech at the MoA signing, said in undertaking this new collaboration, INCEIF carried Malaysia’s aspiration to share our Islamic finance experience and contribute to the development of global talent.

“With the experience in developing the Islamic finance in Malaysia that we have gathered, we are honoured to be able to share this knowledge, and through INCEIF, this can be shared with global professionals, practitioners and students to the benefit of all. Over and above that, we hope that the greater exchange in knowledge and scholarship will bring new inroads into elevating Islamic finance further.”

AG Adnan added that strengthening the discourse and exchange across different schools of thought, cultures and conventions could further enrich and strengthen the theoretical and juristic foundations for improving on existing practice and making new discoveries.

“Equally important is to have our narrative and viewpoints put across in the global intellectual discourse on key policy issues making for a better balanced perspective to prevail. This is certainly something that we can strive through such institution of higher learning and research,” he said.

(Click here for the full speech)

Later, INCEIF Subject Matter Expert on Takaful and Senior Teaching Fellow Mr Ezamshah Ismail briefly brought the audience through the landscape of the takaful industry through his talk on `Beyond Pandemic: The Takaful Response’. He also took questions from the audience on a wide range of issues including the required impetus to build takaful acceptance in new markets. (Click here for the slides)



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