Cameroon will soon see the launch of banking services tailored to Muslims who make up 21 per cent of the country’s population, a senior official with Saudi-based Islamic Development Bank Group (IDB) has said.
“We mean business and we’re looking for business,” said Khaled Mohammed Al-Aboodi, Chief Executive Officer of IDB’s Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD).
Mr Al-Aboodi spoke at a conference Thursday in the capital Yaoundé, which had the objective of explaining to local businesspeople how they could benefit from the opportunities that the multilateral development financing institution offered.
On the sidelines of the event, ICD signed a partnership with a local bank, Afriland First Bank.
The agreement will see the launch of an “Islamic Window”, which will harness a customised service the bank began providing its Muslim clients 10 years ago and also introduce a range of other products and services for them.
Mr Al-Aboodi said more of such partnerships that sought to stimulate Cameroon’s fledgling private sector and create more jobs would follow.
“Once this window is set up, the advisory services we offer will end. But we will look into providing lines of financing to the banks so they can support the private sector here, which is mostly made up of small and medium size enterprises.”
The IDB has been partnering with Cameroon since 1976 and today it was funding 22 projects mainly in the transport and agricultural sectors to the tune of $260 million.
About 27 other projects, costing $350 million, had so far been completed.