The Ghana Islamic Microfinance the first and only Islamic Microfinance project in Ghana that have carve a niche for fighting against predatory loan practices through innovative asset delivery Shariah compliant microfinance services unprecedented in the history of Ghana has won the 2014 Islamic Development Bank Women’s For Development Award. The Ghana Islamic Microfinance won the award for its innovative package of products aimed specifically at smallholder women farmers.
Through its micro ijara scheme, it rents agricultural land and then subleases it to a farmer for an agreed period of time which they pay back in the form of crops. The Ghana Islamic Microfinance also offers an interest free loan scheme to smallholder women farmers in the form of high quality inputs, private extension services, tractor services against a guaranteed purchase price for their crops. This flexible package double farmer’s crop yields, which makes farming more profitable and
improves overall food security and provides guaranteed market for their produce boosting their incomes and securing their livelihoods.
The Islamic Development Bank established the IDB Prize for Women’s Contribution to Development in 2006 to draw international attention to the vital role women play in developing their communities and the world.
The award will be presented to the organisation at a high level event of the Board of Directors of the Islamic Development Bank which also marks the 40th anniversary celebration of the Bank under the patronage of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques taken place in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia from 22nd-26th June 2014.
Speaking to the media ahead of the award, the Chief Executive of the Ghana Islamic Microfinance Kwaku Kyei who is leading a three man delegation to Jeddah to receive the award said ‘Poverty reduction is the greatest challenge facing humanity today It has always considered poverty as a moral wrong that should be fought by all stakeholders as a matter of moral necessity. He said the Islamic finance is a moral system of finance which emphasizes the balance between for-profit activities, or the market, and not- for-profit activities, including social and philanthropic activities. No economy can enjoy sustainable prosperity without the two domains in healthy equilibrium. Just as a bird cannot fly smoothly without the two wings properly functioning in
tandem, an economy cannot “fly” without the two domains properly operating and serving the common good of the society.
Mr Kyei conceded that Islamic microfinance is still in its infancy, and business models are just emerging but urge all Ghanaians to join hands to embrace the concept and not to see it as a ‘Muslims thing’ because Islamic microfinance can play an important role in helping to address poverty in Ghana as it has the potential to not only respond to unmet demand but also to combine the Islamic social principle of caring for the less fortunate with microfinance’s power to provide financial access to the poor.
Originally published on www.businessghana.com