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Dr. Al-Suwailem Shares Insights on Role of Islamic Finance in Realizing SDGs

21 Dec, 2022

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The Acting Director General of the Islamic Development Bank Institute (IsDBI), Dr. Sami Al-Suwailem, participated in the 15th IFSB Public Lecture where he delivered a lecture on the role of Islamic finance in actualizing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Themed ‘Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Islamic Finance Philosophy: The Way Forward’, the lecture was held on 14 December 2022 in Islamabad, Pakistan, in conjunction with the 41st Council Meeting of the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB).

Dr. Al-Suwailem noted that the concept of sustainable development is based on the ability to see the future clearly enough to plan and sustain resources, not only for this generation but for the coming generations as well.

He said Islamic finance integrates universal moral values with economic activities, and that this integration is essential to achieve sustainable development and overcome the root causes behind the climate crisis the world faces.

Dr. Al-Suwailem said the IsDB Institute is spearheading several initiatives to facilitate leveraging Islamic finance for the SDGs. One of these initiatives is aimed to revive the role of awqaf in mobilizing sustainable finance to achieve social progress.

The initiative proposes to combine the elements of awqaf, free zones, and modern technology to create ‘Awqaf Free Zones’ in IsDB Member Countries.

He explained that in the free zones, awqaf assets can be created to enjoy protective status suitable to the nature and requirements for preserving awqaf assets. This will help unlock the potential of under-utilized natural resources and alleviate poverty in the Member Countries.

Resources for building the Awqaf Free Zones will be mobilized through blockchain-based “Global Waqf Tokens” that allow the contributors (Waqifeen) to monitor and verify the transactions of the waqf assets and revenues. Moreover, blockchain technology will be used to create, manage and store the awqaf deeds, which enables independent validation and transparency. The free zones would also be equipped with the Internet of Things (IoT) for maximum transparency and verifiability of performance.

Dr. Al-Suwailem emphasized that the Institute would join hands with stakeholders and partners to make this initiative a reality.

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