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Maximizing Islamic Finance for Financial Inclusion

October 7, 2020

Sustainable and Inclusive Finance Forum 2020

  • Building on two new World Bank reports on Leveraging Islamic Fintech for Financial Inclusion and the case of Islamic Finance and Financial Inclusion in Malaysia, this session will explore the use of Islamic finance instruments to support financial inclusion, including policy, regulatory and institutional elements required for the sustainable use of Islamic finance. This session will be delivered in collaboration with the Islamic Financial Services Board.

    Opening Remarks:

    • Datuk Shaik Abdul Rasheed bin Abdul Ghaffour, Deputy Governor, Bank Negara Malaysia
    • Hassan Zaman, Regional Director, East Asia and the Pacific (EAP), Equitable Growth, Finance and Institutions (EFI), World Bank Group
    • Dr. Bello Lawal Danbatta, Secretary-General, Islamic Financial Services Board

    Keynote Address: Tuan Mohd Shahar bin Abdullah, Deputy Finance Minister of Malaysia

    Launch of The World Bank Reports on Islamic Finance:

    • Islamic Finance and Financial Inclusion in Malaysia
    • Leveraging Islamic Fintech to Improve Financial Inclusion

    Moderator: Abayomi A. Alawode, Lead Financial Sector Specialist & Head of Islamic Finance, World Bank Group


    • Islamic Finance: A Catalyst for Financial Inclusion: Aamir A. Rahman, Senior Advisor, United Nations Development Program [Presentation Slides]
    • Maximizing Islamic FinTech for Financial Inclusion: Rafi-uddin Shikoh, Managing Director, DinarStandard [Presentation Slides]
    • The Role of Regulators in Strengthening Fnancial Inclusion: Dr. Rifki Ismal, Assistant Secretary-General, Islamic Financial Services Board [Presentation Slides]


  • YB Tuan Mohd Shahar bin Abdullah is the Deputy Finance Minister II and Paya Besar Member of Parliament. He has had experience serving several agencies including the Higher Education Ministry as a Special Officer to the Parliamentary Secretary and as Private Secretary to the former Malaysia Deputy Minister of Education. He represented Malaysian Parliament as the member of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) and Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU), he has also been leading several NGOs, clubs and associations including Yayasan Pahang and Universiti Kuala Lumpur as one of the Board of Directors (2017-2018). 

    Abdul Rasheed Ghaffour is the Deputy Governor, Bank Negara Malaysia and is responsible for the overall development of the Malaysian financial sector, which includes the banking, insurance and payments development functions, as well as Islamic banking and takaful development. He also oversees the Bank’s Monetary and Economics Sector, which also include the international relations and statistical services. He is a member of the Monetary Policy Committee, the Management Committee, Financial Stability Executive Committee, the Reserve Management Committee and the Risk Management Committee of the Bank. Prior to his appointment as Deputy Governor, he was the Assistant Governor for the Bank’s Monetary and Economics Sector.  He was on secondment as the Alternate Executive Director for Malaysia on the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund, in Washington DC. He started his career in the Bank Regulation Department of Bank Negara Malaysia and during his career in the Bank that spans over 20 years, he has been involved in key areas of central banking, including policy formulation in financial sector development, financial surveillance and prudential policies for the banking and insurance sector. Abdul Rasheed Ghaffour has an Honours degree in Economics from the University of Malaya and Master of Business Administration from University of Oxford.

    Hassan Zaman is the Regional Director, East Asia and Pacific for the Equitable Growth, Finance and Institutions Vice-Presidency of the World Bank as of July 2019. His department is responsible for the Bank’s operations and analytical work in East Asia and the Pacific in the areas of macro, trade, financial sector, competitiveness, governance and poverty. Prior to this role Hassan was Director Operations Policy and Quality for three years. He joined the World Bank as a Young Professional in 1998 followed by country economist positions in Africa and South Asia and Lead Economist in the central Poverty Reduction group. Between 2011 and 2014 he took leave from the World Bank to work as the Chief Economist and Senior Adviser to the Governor at the Central Bank in Bangladesh. He has a doctorate in Economics from the University of Sussex and a Masters and Bachelors in Economics from the London School of Economics.

    Dr. Bello Lawal Danbatta was appointed the Secretary-General of the IFSB effective 29 January 2018. Dr. Danbatta, previously the Director of the Centre of Consultancy and Executive Programmes at INCEIF, has over 26 years combined experience in the private, academia, as well as in the financial services regulation and supervision sectors across Africa, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. He is a Member of the Accounting and Auditing Board of Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI), the Basel Consultative Group (BCG), the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA), the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) and has chaired various working groups for the issuance of financial accounting standards for Islamic financial institutions. He has also been involved in the development and drafting of standards, guidelines and frameworks for capital adequacy, accounting, as well as supervision and regulation of Islamic finance for various countries. Dr. Danbatta holds a Ph.D. in Islamic Banking and Finance from the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), and an MBA in Corporate Finance. 

    Abayomi Alawode joined the World Bank in 1997 as a Young Professional and is currently Lead Financial Sector Specialist & Head of Islamic Finance in the Bank’s Finance, Competitiveness and Innovation Global Practice. Previously, he worked in various capacities including as Practice Manager (Financial Systems Practice), Lead Financial Sector Specialist (East Asia and Pacific Region) and as Program Leader/Senior Financial Specialist (World Bank Institute). He also served as Adviser, Financial Stability at the Central Bank of Bahrain from 2006 to 2010. Before joining the World Bank, Abayomi was a Lecturer in Economics at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria (1990-1994) and an Instructor in Development Economics at the University of Cambridge.  He holds a B.Sc and M.Sc (both in Economics) from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria and an M.Phil in Development Studies from the University of Cambridge, England. He is the author of several academic papers on monetary and financial sector issues.

    Dr. Aamir A. Rehman is Senior Advisor on Islamic Finance at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). His work includes engaging Islamic finance stakeholders on aligning their activities with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  UNDP has partnered with Zakat bodies, Sukuk issuers, industry bodies, and banks on identifying, enhancing, and documenting their SDG impact. At UNDP, he also supports inter-agency initiatives on Islamic finance across the UN system. Dr. Rehman has recently written on Islamic finance instruments for COVID-19 response . He has presented to the CFA Institute on the role of Islamic finance instruments in the recovery. In addition to his work with UNDP, he is a Senior Fellow at Columbia University’s Richman Center for Business, Law, and Public Policy. His work at Columbia explores ESG considerations and the public impact of private equity investments. Dr. Rehman was previously a co-founder and managing director of Fajr Capital, a private equity group that has successfully invested over USD 700 million. Dr. Rehman is author of the book Gulf Capital & Islamic Finance: The Rise of the New Global Players (McGraw-Hill, 2009). His work has been featured in journals including the Harvard Business Review, the Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, and McKinsey on Society. Dr. Rehman holds bachelor’s, master’s, and MBA degrees from Harvard University and a doctoral degree from Columbia University. 

    Rafi-uddin Shikoh is a growth strategy thought leader and execution specialist for government agencies, investors, and corporates. He is passionate about solving for limited global innovations coming from Islamic economies and is currently focused on driving the confluence of global innovations and prioritized global social impact needs. He is the Founder and CEO of DinarStandard™--a specialized market intelligence and advisory firm. Since 2008, Rafi-uddin has been building DinarStandard into a strong research and predictive analytics-driven advisory firm serving multi-national corporates, government agencies, and investment firms from over 12 countries. Rafi-uddin has an MBA from UNC-Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, and a BSc. in Marketing from Southwest State University, Minnesota, USA.

    Dr. Rifki Ismal is an assistant secretary general (ASG) for standard and research in Islamic Financial Service Board (IFSB). In Indonesia, he is a member of the National Sharia Board (DSN) and a deputy director in Bank Indonesia (BI), the central bank of Indonesia besides lecturing in some universities in Indonesia such as University of Indonesia, Tazkia Institute, IPB. Academically, he has published many academic papers in reputable (scopus indexed) international journals and reference books on Islamic economics and banking by international reputable publishers such as John Wiley and Sons, Routledge, Springer, etc. He received a Bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Indonesia, a master’s degree in applied economics from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (USA) and a PhD in Islamic finance from Durham University (England).


  • WHEN: October 7 (Wednseday): 9:00 - 11:30am (Kuala Lumpur)