After a slow start, Islamic finance has now become a major player on the world stage and is spreading rapidly around Africa. Global Islamic banking assets under management are currently estimated at just over $1 trillion and are expected to reach $4 trillion by 2020. It is therefore hardly surprising that African governments and banks are looking to tap into this rapidly growing form of finance.
The steady growth of the Islamic banking sector in the African continent in recent years has been well documented. Both foreign and local financial institutions have set up Sharia-compliant operations from South Africa to Tanzania and from Nigeria to Egypt. Some are specialists in this sector, while others are international and African banks that recognise the importance of offering financial products that are aligned with Islamic principles.