Introduction to Islamic finance in Africa

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Africa is a continent that has contributed significantly to the institutionalization and development of Islamic finance in the world. Islam is the major religion in many countries in Africa, particularly those in the north of the continent (Saleh, 2021). For instance, in countries like Somalia, Morocco, Mauritania and Algeria about 99% of the population are Muslims while in Egypt 90% of the population are Muslims (Saleh, 2021). In 1963, the first ever Islamic bank incorporated in the world was formed in Egypt (Orhan, 2018) while in 1979, the world's first takaful company was incorporated in Sudan (Billah et al. 2019). Though the institutionalization of Islamic finance began in the African continent, there is still a need to unlock the full potential of Islamic finance (Dey and Jen, 2018; Parker, 2021). For the huge necessity to finance infrastructure projects and to alleviate poverty via financial inclusion, Islamic finance has the potential to provide adequate solutions (Monnet, 2019). However, there are numerous challenges such as the regulatory gap and knowledge gap that must be resolved to implement Islamic finance in a sustainable manner in Africa (Dey and Jen, 2018). Lack of government support to utilize Islamic finance in Africa has also been identified as a challenge (Parker, 2021). The straw that broke the camel's back in this regard is COVID-19, which has become a threat not only to Africa but also the whole world in the quest to achieve sustainable development.
Africa , Islamic finance , Islamic commercial finance , Islamic social finance , Fintech , Shariah governance
Hassan, M. K., Muneeza, A., & Sonko, K. N. M. (2022). Introduction to Islamic finance in Africa. In M. K. Hassan, A. Muneeza, & K. N. M. Sonko (Eds.), Islamic finance in Africa: the prospects for sustainable development (pp. xxiv-xxx). Edward Elgar Publishing Limited.
Edward Elgar Publishing Limited

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