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Islamic Banking is not the sole preserve of Muslims - Afro Arab boss

BY: Kweku Zurek
Islamic Banking is not the sole preserve of Muslims - Afro Arab boss
The founder and CEO of the Afro Arab Group of Companies, Alhaji Salamu Amadu

The founder and CEO of the Afro Arab Group of Companies, Alhaji Salamu Amadu has urged all Ghanaians to take advantage of the benefits associated with Islamic banking.

Speaking at the just ended Africa Business Conference at Havard Business School in Boston, USA, Alhaji Amadu said Islamic Banking is not the sole preserve of Muslims but rather a universally viable financial system that propels the socio-economic development of countries around the world.

Citing Côte d'Ivoire as an example, he said although the country has only 39% of its population (24 million) as Muslims, it is a member of Organisations of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and Islamic Development Bank and continues to receive development financing which was to the tune of $276.2 million in 2017 alone.

The entrepreneur also recounted that during last year's World Islamic Banking Conference in Bahrain, Côte d'Ivoire has the largest representation from West Africa.

He said: "In Islamic finance, investments are approached cautiously and the decision-making process is carried out thoroughly unlike the conventional banking system. This is why Islamic banks are relatively unaffected worldwide during banking crises".

He advised that Ghana follows Côte d'Ivoire by joining the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and the Islamic Development Bank, which he says will help government and private businesses in the country to receive cheaper funding for projects.

He also lauded the creation of the Ministry of Zongo and Inner-city Development which he says is a good start to make inroads that will open up Ghana for development aid and partnerships with oil-rich Gulf countries.

One of his companies, the Afro-Arab Micro-Finance won the 40 under 40 award as the Best Emerging Micro-Finance Company in 2017.

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Arab Micro-Finance is set to launch a mortgage financing programme in partnership with Afro-Arab Properties which promises to give Ghanaians the opportunity to buy land or a house and pay in instalments.