Nairobi woo Muslim investors with Halal economic summit

Nairobi is hosting a two-day summit to explore how Kenya and the region can best tap into the lucrative global Sh230 trillion Halal or Islamic economy.

Local, regional and international industry experts are expected to converge in the city for the East Africa Islamic Economy Summit now in its second year. Participants will dissect the opportunities presented by the multi-trillion shilling Halal market and how best Kenyans and East Africans can exploit them to boost their economies.

The Halal economy serves the needs of more than 1.6 billion Muslim consumers globally who want goods and services to be in line with Islamic principles.

The Islamic economy encompasses the entire value chain not only of the food industry, where consumer have certain dietary guidelines, but also other sectors such as tourism, banking, insurance, capital markets among other sectors.

The summit has been organized by consultancy and advisory firm GBS Africa in partnership with Anjarwalla Khanna law firm and Isfin, an advisory firm on Islamic Markets.

Experts will focus on how to improve the regulatory and legal environment to nurture the rapid growth of the halal economy amid the recent announcement by the government of intention to amend laws to better accommodate the niche sector. The summit also seeks to eliminate misconceptions and apprehensions about the concept of Islamic finance and its best practices.

Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich, his Principal Secretary Kamau Thugge and Capital Markets Authority CEO Paul Muthaura were expected to be among the keynote speakers.

Kenya seeks to be the regional hub of Islamic Finance and economy with Treasury planning to issue to first Islamic bond or Sukuk to attract cheaper funds from Middle East to fund infrasture. This will expand Kenya’s credit options from the current Eurobonds or syndicated loans from commercial banks.

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