Dr Mamunur Rashid, Assistant Professor of Finance at Nottingham University Business School (NUBS) Malaysia, was recently invited to present a paper on financial inclusion in Bangladesh and the role played by the Islamic microfinance sector, at a regional seminar organised by the ADFIMI (Association of National Development Finance Institutions of the Member countries of the Islamic Development Bank) in collaboration with the World Bank and Zarai Taraqiati Bank Ltd.
Dr Mamunur discussed the challenges that are inherent with the operational efficiencies of the microfinance institutions (MFIs) from Bangladesh, which cannot be overcome due to the operational and socio-political atmosphere. He also pointed out that Islamic microfinance programmes alone cannot help in reducing poverty.
"Bangladesh, being the 'motherland' of microfinance, has over 600 MFIs that have contributed immensely to the financial inclusion strategies of the government, not only by way of general credit and deposit services, but also through significant engagements in digital inclusion, women entrepreneurship, and micro entrepreneurship," says Dr Mamunur.
"Among Islamic MFIs, Rural Development Schemes (RDS) hold 50% of the global Islamic MFI share. Since a major portion of the population, particularly from rural Bangladesh, is Muslim, a combined vertical and horizontal inclusion has been expected from Islamic MFIs."
Dr Mamunur further states thet the efforts of MFIs should be combined with other Islamic socio-economic development tools such as the Zakat (almsgiving), charity, and waqf (an endowment typical in terms of physical assets).
"Islamic socio-economic development tools should be aligned with other socio-economic goals such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) of the United Nations and the World Bank."
The seminar, on Financial Inclusion Strategies in South Asia, took place from 28-29 March 2017 at Islamabad, Pakistan, and was aimed at creating an awareness of the importance of financial inclusion and to study best practices in conventional as well as Islamic microfinance and micro Takaful in the South Asia region.
Find out more about Dr Mamunur Rashid's research profile.
Posted on 26th April 2017