The Principles of Islamic Finance Align With The 17 Goals of The UN - Saeeda Ahmed


Friday, October 16, 2020 / 1:54 PM / Bukola Akinyele for WebTV / Header Image Credit: Agora-Xtec

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The Principles of  Islamic finance and its economic system align with the 17 goals of the 2030 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Saeeda Ahmed the Founding Director of Education Partnerships UK Ltd made this point in a discourse on "Sustainable Development Goals, Women Empowerment".

According to her, there is a synergy between the Islamic economy and the UN 2030 SDGs, as they agree on issues like social justice, zero hunger, poverty alleviation, sustainable environment, ethics and governance, women empowerment etc.

She explained further that through Islamic Finance there are opportunities for enterprise development, trade, skills development, Shariah-compliant products and services that key into sustainability and socio-economic inclusion. 

Looking at the issue of gender inclusion, she acknowledged the fact that a lot of women across the globe, especially in low-income countries face challenges of exploitation and poverty, which Islamic Finance can address.

The United Nations sustainability expert believed there were immense opportunities for empowerment, economic growth, self-awareness, and improving the well-being of women through a synergy between Islamic Finance and the 17 UN SDGs.

For National transformation, she called for a clear Nigerian vision that drives its socio-economic agenda which Islamic Finance can key into and support.

Citing the goal of lifting 100m Nigerians from poverty by 2030, Saeeda Ahmed stressed the importance of human capital development and skills, to achieve the agenda.

At the Regional level, she harped on the need for robust integration in Africa, with services and trade that connect with the Organization of Islamic Countries, OIC which will enable more Sharia-compliant financial activities.

The Global Islamic Finance Market size according to her is about $3trn which speaks to prospects for growth as it continues to operate on the principles of integrity, compassion, honesty, teamwork and cooperation.

Assessing the rising tide of the "Out of School Children" population in Nigeria which is over 13m and among the highest in the globe, especially in the area "Girl Child Education" she was of the view that a holistic approach captures the male and female students was important.

She alluded to the fact that the infrastructure, technology and a dynamic policy that spans a decade is vital to repositioning Nigeria's education system and addressing the high index 0f out-of-school children in the country.

In the area of supporting Nigeria to achieve "Food Security", she highlighted the fact that the Islamic economic model takes a long-term and short-term approach. The focus for her should be what gives the nation a competitive advantage and guarantees nutritional security.

Ahmed noted that the 'Halal Economy' which is about clean eating, hygiene, nutrition should be integrated into the agro-sector strategy of Nigeria.

Speaking on Integrating Edtech to provide digital Solutions for tertiary institutions, secondary and primary schools addressing the SDG Goal 4 of Quality Education, she said educating partnership has modules for education participation from a nursery, kindergarten to postgraduate degree level.

These are academic qualifications, whether they are in the remote village in Nigeria or any city in the world, that are tailored to meet particular needs.

"We do not believe in education for the sake of education. We create our holistic solutions so that it keys into developing soft skills and a sustainable excellence program that contributes to the 17 Sustainable development goals" She said.

She added that the skills component which has over 480 courses provides opportunities for utilizing those skills to boost micro-enterprises and businesses. The solutions according to her are flexible, online and dynamic for learning.

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