A capacity-building workshop on tapping the potentials of Islamic finance for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has been organized jointly by the Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Istanbul, Turkey.
The workshop, held on 28-30 August 2018, aimed to build capacity of development practitioners in exploring opportunities provided by Islamic finance towards meeting targets of the 2030 Agenda. More than 60 participants attended the workshop from Central Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.
Islamic finance, with its growing momentum in recent years, reached a global asset size of about $2 trillion, comprising Islamic banking, asset management, and capital market instruments. In addition to the pace of growth of the commercial Islamic finance industry, Islamic social finance tools such as zakah, waqf and non-profit microfinance have been gaining attention at the global level.
In the context of this growing interest in Islamic finance and the need for comprehensive capacity building for development practitioners, UNDP and IRTI, along with other partners, jointly organized the capacity-building workshop in Istanbul. This followed the first such workshop held on 7-9 May 2018 in Jakarta, Indonesia.
IRTI Director General, Dr. Humayon Dar, said, "As a global think tank specializing in Islamic development, IRTI will continue to collaborate with global institutions like UNDP to build capacity of development practitioners and other stakeholders towards mobilizing Islamic finance for the SDGs."
Acting Manager of Training at IRTI, Dr. Rami Abdelkafi, said "There is a consensus that concerted efforts are needed to mobilize more resources for the SDGs, and Islamic finance offers a significant opportunity in this regard. Building the capacity of development practitioners in the field of Islamic finance is very important to enable them explore the potentials of Islamic finance in terms of resource mobilization and impact on the real economy."