The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, has pledged to expedite the formation of the Central Shari'a Advisory Council that will operationalise Islamic Banking in Uganda.
Kadaga asked the Head of Islamic Banking at Tropical Bank, Dr Suleiman Lujja, to present her with names of Muslim scholars that she will forward to the finance minister.
“We recently took on the Minister of Finance on the issue of Islamic Banking and he said they were waiting for scholars to make the advisory board. MPs said we have scholars in the country who can handle Shari’a Islamic Banking,” said Kadaga.
She made the remarks while addressing the Muslim community at an Iftar Dinner hosted by Parliament on Friday, 16 April 2021.
Islamic Banking is provided for in the Financial Institutions Amendment Act, 2016 that was passed by Parliament and later assented to BY President Yoweri Museveni on Tuesday, 19 January 2016.
According to Dr Lujja, progress of Islamic Banking in the country was being limited by the Shari’a Governance element of the Act that among others, requires two Shari’a scholars as part of the Central Shari'a Advisory Council.
“In Uganda, there is a considerable number of scholars with both Shari’a knowledge and conventional banking experience that the Central Bank may draw from to form the Central Shari'a Advisory Council,” he said.
He called for the adoption of Islamic Banking in Uganda, given that it had become a global trend in international financial hubs, noting that the Islamic Development Bank operations in Uganda had reached US$3 billion by the year 2019, since its inception in 1977.
Speaker Kadaga also congratulated Hon. Safia Nalule on her appointment as the Chairperson of the Equal Opportunities Commission, noting that she had advocated for the rights of Ugandans during her term as a Member of Parliament.
“Hon. Safia Nalule is a very intelligent person and very good at research. She has successfully been able to move a number of motions for Private Members’ Bills in this House. Together with her, we worked on the Certificate of Gender and Equity Compliance,” the Speaker said.
The Deputy Chairperson of the Muslim Parliamentary Caucus, Hon. Ashraf Olega, commended the Speaker for advocating for and establishing prayer space for Muslim MPs and staff at Parliament that has enabled them say prayers vis-a-vis their daily tasks.