Higher education institutions in Kenya are yet to tap into the growing and lucrative demand for Islamic finance professionals needed by the rapidly-expanding multi-billion shillings niche sub-sector. While Kenya is gradually consolidating its position as the hub of Islamic finance in the region, local educational and training institutions are yet to respond to or anticipate the need for a critical mass of professionals needed by the sub-sector.
“The government has made ambitious commitments to nurture Islamic Finance and make Kenya a regional hub. But without developing the necessary local human resource capacity, it would be difficult to support the growth of the sub-sector,” said Jaafar Abdulkadir, Head of Islamic Banking at the Kenya Commercial Bank.
Currently, only a few educational institutions offer an Islamic finance course, all at basic certificate or Diploma level. The Kenya School of Monetary Studies has been offering a certificate since 2014 in collaboration with the Malaysia-based International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance (INCEIF). Umma University, based in Kajiado and Thika, also offers a one-year basic Diploma in Islamic Banking and Finance while the Mombasa-based Coast International College plans to roll out a Diploma in Islamic Finance after inking a deal with INCEIF last month. Curricula in some local universities offering Business, finance and law at Bachelors and Masters Levels only mention Islamic finance in passing as one of the alternatives to the conventional financial systems.
Originally published on www.standardmedia.co.ke