An estimated 1.28 million clients around the world use Sharia-compliant microfinance services, a four-fold increase since 2006. The number of providers offering these products has doubled since 2006. Ninety-two percent of Sharia-compliant loans are concentrated in East Asia/the Pacific and Middle East/North Africa regions. Indonesia is home to the largest outstanding portfolio at $347 million. Despite this growth, the sector is limited in terms of the number of service providers, product offerings, and overall outreach. Experts say the most important factor is to drive down costs so that clients don’t have to choose between their religion and their wallet.
The Global Islamic Microfinance Forum in the UAE united MFI’s of 27 Countries to elaborate on the development of Islamic Microfinance. The event was marked by unanimity on the decision to work together for the advancement of Islamic Microfinance globally. The Forum took place on 8th-10th December 2012, in Dubai World Trade Centre, UAE. Among the delegates there were experts from countries such as UAE, Pakistan, India, UK, Bangladesh, USA, UK Bahrain, Yemen, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Kirghizstan, Mauritius, Kenya, Canada, France, Egypt, Philippine, Uganda, Iraq, Nigeria, and Sudan. Key topics included bringing together the Islamic Microfinance Institutions on a single platform as well as the role of Islamic Microfinance in poverty alleviation. Furthermore, Shariah and related issues of Islamic Microfinance Institutions and their solutions were discussed.