The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
Islamic finance is a fast growing activity in world markets. This paper provides a survey on Islamic Finance in SSA. Ongoing activities include Islamic banking, sukuk issuances (to finance infrastructure projects), Takaful (insurance), and microfinance. While not yet significant in most Sub-Saharan countries, several features make Islamic finance instruments relevant to the region, in particular the ability to foster SMEs and micro-credit activtities. As a first step, policy makers could introduce Islamic financing windows within the conventional system and facilitate sukuk issuance to tap foreign investors. The entrance of full-fleged Islamic banks require addressing systemic issues, and adapting the crisis management and resolution frameworks. The IMF can play a role by sharing international experiences and providing advice on supervisory and regulatory frameworks as needed.