WHO WE ARE
The Africa Islamic Economic Foundation (AFRIEF) is an independent development organization that provides a distinctive Islamic perspectives on economic, development and social issues. Registered in the Republic of Ghana as a Non Governmental Organization (NGO), AFRIEF’s work encompasses a range of advisory, research, policy and field-building activities. AFRIEF sets the benchmark on public policy by drawing together the most innovative thinking available from some of the world’s foremost experts and applying that thinking to the challenges facing Africa.
Working in close collaboration with its strategic partners in a number of key African countries, AFRIEF networks with individuals, Governments, public and private sector organizations to promote the asset-based paradigm of economic development in Africa. It also acts as a unique catalyst for partnerships across public, private and social sectors by mobilizing financial and human resources to confront Africa’s social needs and offers information and resources to link investors with investment opportunities in Africa.
AFRIEF’s core competencies in economic development are in three primary areas: access to ethical finance, market development and integration of economic development with cross-cutting themes, particularly agriculture, education and human services, renewable energy and natural resources management, healthcare, drinking water, sanitation and waste management, governance, entrepreneurship, micro-finance and cooperatives – all with an emphasis on inclusive community-based approaches.
Within the general promotion of Islamic Economics and Finance, AFRIEF puts research work at the center of its efforts, with the goal of better understanding and interpreting trends and structures of social-economic phenomena for the advancement of knowledge. Recognizing that a country’s GDP does not tell the whole story about the health of its economy, AFRIEF promotes an alternative economic thought that emphasizes and places the well-being of the individual on center stage.
AFRIEF supports national regulatory institutions like Central Banks, Security and Exchange, and Insurance regulatory bodies as well as Investment and Export Promotion Agencies to develop plans and roadmaps towards a well-functioning Islamic Finance and Halal markets in Africa.
AFRIEF neither does charity nor depends on it. It believes that people of developing countries in which it works are capable citizen actors in their own development. It, therefore, acts with them, favoring the dignity of citizenship over hand-outs, capacity building over substitution, contribution to public policy over recycled unsuitable models, and working with the economic sector over sterile opposition.
AFRIEF’s Conferences, Summits and Transformative Roundtable Dialogue series are unique initiatives aimed at projecting a positive and sophisticated image of Islamic finance and economics through the exchange of cutting-edge ideas and objective discussions on the various benefits of asset-based and interest-free paradigm of economic development among academicians, decision and policy makers, private sector operators and development practitioners in Africa. These exclusive and multi-sector events take place in various cities in Africa bringing together civil society organizations, governments, regional economic agencies and the private sector to collaborate, network, exchange ideas to consider major African economic issues of the day and to brainstorm on solutions to address these challenges from the perspectives of the Islamic paradigm of economic development.
OUR HISTORY, OUR FOUNDATION
The resolutions of the 1st West Africa Islamic Investment Forum, which was held between the 28th February and 1st March, 2011, in Kano, in the Federal Republic of Nigeria, under the auspices of the Green Oasis Associates Ltd and the Kano State Government, with the co-operation of the Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Islamic Development Bank, Jeddah, the Dangote Group of Companies, Nigeria, Al Furqan Foundation and the Ghana Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Tamale, Ghana, recommended the establishment of an independent development organisation in Africa whose core objective is to advocate the adoption of Islamic economics and finance as a solution to the growing socioeconomic challenges, such as perennial problems of poverty, persistent youth unemployment, excessive inequalities of income and wealth, high levels of inflation, large macroeconomic and budgetary imbalances, exorbitant debt-servicing burdens, inadequate and aging public utilities and infrastructure, skyrocketing energy prices, and growing food insecurity, which have all combined to undermine current development efforts of African Government. Consequently the Africa Islamic Economic Foundation was formally incorporated in 2013 under the Companies Code 1963 of the Republic of Ghana (Act 179) as an independent not-for-profit organization, with its interim headquarters in Tamale, Northern Region, Republic of Ghana.
OUR GOAL AND OBJECTIVES
The goal of the Foundation is to serve as an organization for advancing research, knowledge and Professional development in Islamic economics and finance in Africa.
Within that goal, our objectives are:
- To promote the well-being of individuals, and increase the wealth of African nations;
- To promote and foster understanding of the Islamic economics and the Islamic economy by African parliaments, governments, and the public;
- To expand research, knowledge and professional development in the Islamic Economy;
- To provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and information for those interested in and concerned with Islamic economics and the Islamic (ethical) economy;
- To advance Islamic economics and the Islamic economy in Africa by setting policy standards, building resources and sharing knowledge;
- To foster relationships and cultivate cooperation among countries, institutions, organizations and individuals in academia, business and government;
- To develop, disseminate and promote theory, curricula, methodologies, techniques, and best practices for pure and applied Islamic Economics;
- To create a world beyond poverty by investing and facilitating the development of small businesses and entrepreneurship, emerging leaders and breakthrough ideas in Africa;
- To prevent and resolve conflicts, encourage peace, dialogue and understanding among African countries;
- To promote SMART urban and rural development projects in African countries to spur the growth of investments into high technology, medicine, energy, education and tourism;
- To sponsor or organise conferences, round-table dialogues, meetings, seminars, lectures, training programs, and publications, using all media of communication (including, without restriction, the electronic media) for the purpose of achieving these objectives.
Our mission is to help shift the prevailing paradigm of economic development – and of the economy as a whole-toward a new system that is ethical, place-based, inclusive, collaborative, and ecologically sustainable.
Our vision is to become the leading Islamic economic organization in Africa playing an increasingly crucial role in contributing to the inclusive development and social transformation of Africa.
Collaboration: As a partnership of organizations, institutions and individuals, collaboration is core to who we are. We believe that respect, diverse perspectives and the open exchange of ideas will lead to the innovative solutions and catalytic change that Africa needs.
Innovation: We take risks, catalyse fresh thinking, and test new approaches in order to creatively disrupt the status quo, change broken systems and provide opportunities for all.
Leadership: We continually ask difficult questions, challenge obsolete norms, and support others in their efforts to do the same. We look for strategic opportunities to promote our point of view and to move innovation from the periphery to the mainstream.
Impact: We are committed to making material improvements in the lives of low-income people, cities, and the systems that affect them. We hold ourselves accountable for evaluating our effectiveness and are intentionally self-reflective as we strive to continuously improve, adapt, and inform future innovation.
We are committed to innovative education and training, critical research and community involvement in the continuing effort to assist communities to establish and achieve their collective goals.
AFRIEF has been established to build a more equal, just society in Africa by resolving current and future challenges through provision of alternative principled solutions and options for governments, service providers, stakeholders, community and intelligentsia. It works to achieve this by engaging and informing the debate over public policy issues for policy makers, the public and the media. It is therefore working towards entering into joint academic agreements with universities and research centres to further its objectives and to elucidate the detailed policy proposals needed to make a positive, ethical vision future practical. It is also working towards the maintenance of excellent relationship with governments, regional and international economic organizations like the West Africa Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS, the Islamic Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (ICCIA), Jeddah, Islamic Development Bank (IDB), Jeddah and World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF), Malaysia and the International Islamic Economic Association (IIEA), Qatar, and the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB), Turkey, Economic Community of Central African States, (ECCAS), and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).