Islamic banking leaders and dignitaries from across Africa and the Middle East gathered at the 2nd annual International Forum on Islamic Finance (IFIF 2016).

Held under the patronage of the Government of the Republic of the Sudan, the Central Bank of Sudan and the Ministry of Finance & Economic Planning – and in strategic partnership with the Bank of Khartoum – IFIF 2016 hosted 200 dignitaries, central bank representatives, Ministers, C-level bankers, thought leaders and experts who gathered at the Al Salam Rotana Hotel in Khartoum to deliberate on strategies to enable Islamic finance gain prominence and spur economic growth across Africa.

Delivering keynote addresses to a packed audience were Fadi Al Faqih (CEO of Bank of Khartoum), Musaed Mohammed Ahmed (Head of Sudan’s Banks Union), H.E. Abdelrahman Hassan Abdelrahman Hashim (Governor of the Central Bank of Sudan), H.E. Badr El-Din Mahmoud Abbas (Minister of Finance and National Economy of the Republic of the Sudan) and H.E. Bakri Hassan Salih (First Vice President of the Republic of the Sudan).

The conveners of IFIF, Middle East Global Advisors – a renowned intelligence platform serving the Middle East North Africa Southeast Asia (MENASEA) region for 22 years – gathered a powerful line-up of speakers including Dr. Anindya Ghose, Professor at NYU Stern School of Business, who was named Business Week’s “Top 40 Professors Under 40 Worldwide”.

Dr. Ghose will speak on the impact of social media on banking and shared that: “Industries and markets are being transformed by a growing shared technology infrastructure. Indeed, Africa is emerging as an inspiring hub of innovation for social media in the banking sector, enabling unbanked individuals in Africa to access risk averse financing through Islamic banking.”

Dr. Ghose continued: “The International Forum on Islamic Finance (IFIF) is an outstanding platform to help build awareness of Africa’s digital media proposition in the context of Islamic finance’s push for financial inclusion across the continent.”

Another key highlight of Day 1 of IFIF was the exclusive launch of the much-awaited Sudan Islamic Finance report.

The report was produced by the Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI) and the General Council for Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions (CIBAFI), in collaboration with the Bank of Khartoum. The ground-breaking report provides substantive due diligence on the opportunities for Islamic financial and non-financial services in Sudan.