The 16th IsDB Global Forum on Islamic Finance Explores New Solutions to Fight Poverty


The The 16th IDB Global Forum on Islamic Finance was held with the eminent speakers and panelists calling for innovative approaches to fight poverty and promote shared prosperity.

The forum, themed “Social Entrepreneurship for Shared Prosperity”, was organized by the Institute of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDBI) on the sidelines of the 2022 IsDB Group Annual Meetings in Sharm el-Sheikh, in Egypt.

In his opening remarks, IDB President Dr. Muhammad Al Jasser said that tackling poverty and promoting shared prosperity among communities requires new approaches.

Dr. Al Jasser observed that the combined health and economic crises caused by COVID-19 have led to increased poverty and widening inequalities around the world, disproportionately affecting vulnerable groups.

Given this, the president said, new socially responsible solutions are needed. Such solutions would include social innovations that create value by filling the gaps left in the market often caused by market failures.

Dr. Al Jasser said that while the fight against poverty has always been at the heart of the IDB’s partnerships and engagements, “the COVID-19 pandemic has further compelled us, as a development institution, to strengthen our efforts in this endeavor to ensure a more inclusive recovery in our member states.

He observed that some IDB member countries have achieved remarkable successes in significantly reducing poverty over the years, and therefore it is worth following and highlighting the successes of these countries to motivate policy makers and development institutions in other countries.

Earlier, Dr. Sami Al-Suwailem, Acting Director General of IsDBI and Chief Economist, in a welcoming address, pointed out that achieving the mission of Islamic finance requires working along two dimensions: innovation and social solidarity.

Two round tables took place during the forum. The first session highlighted a joint initiative between the IDB Institute and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) to apply multidimensional measures of poverty in selected member countries, including the ‘Egypt.

The panelists were Dr. Ahmed Kamali, Deputy Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Egypt; Dr. Sabina Alkire, Director of OPHI; Dr. Sami Al-Suwailem; and Mr. Mohamed Ashmawy, Vice President and General Manager of Nasser Social Bank, Egypt.

The second panel focused on the role of social innovation and entrepreneurship in solving socio-economic challenges and poverty trends. The panelists were Mr. Sahba Sobhani, Director of UNDP Istanbul International Center for Private Sector Development (IICPSD), and Nr. Ayman Sabae, Co-Founder and CEO of Egyptian Social Enterprise “Shamseya” for Innovative Solutions community health care.

Between the two roundtables, a launch took place for the massive open online course on Islamic Finance for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). IsDBI and IICPSD developed the MOOC through a partnership with Durham University Business School, with support from the IDB’s Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Fund.

The online course is the first of its kind specifically designed to engage development professionals and Islamic finance actors under the sole umbrella of sustainable development and leverage Islamic finance to fund the SDGs. It brings together 27 internationally recognized subject matter experts from 11 countries and 3 continents as course instructors.

The IDB Institute is the knowledge beacon of the Islamic Development Bank Group. Guided by the principles of Islamic economics and finance, the Institute is mandated to lead the development of innovative knowledge-based solutions to support the sustainable economic development of IsDB member countries and diverse Muslim communities across the world. world. For more informationplease visit: https://www.IsDBInstitute.org
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