The Shari’a complaint financial system is to mobilize funds from the Muslim Ummah for development, whilst creating jobs for the teeming youth in need of jobs.
The Fund is initiated by the Ahlussunna WalJama’a Ashanti Regional Imam (ASWAJ) to offer “ethical investment” tools to investors seeking to invest in profitable “halal” business ventures which have minimal risk but good potential for growth.
“Usually our interest according to Islam is ‘halal’, our economy based on helping the poor not to take the little from the poor; we always want to help the poor,” noted Sheikh Dr. Ismail Saeed, ASWAJ Imam. “So here we are using it as a starter to pull all our resources together, and when they start getting something, then in future when it becomes a bank it will be an encouragement for them [to invest]”.
A Gh100,000 is to be raised in the initial public offering of 200 shares at a share value of Gh500 per share.
The Fund seeks a combination of capital appreciation and current income for shareholders.
The investment plan is established along three minimum risk areas: short term businesses – Cattle Rearing, Washing Bay and Cash-Crop Farming; medium term – Transportation and Commodity Trading; and long term – Real Estate Development, Islamic Microfinance, Project financing and Venture capital.
A 25-member Business Implementation Committee, Chaired by a banker, Issah Mallam Ahmed, was inaugurated at the IPO launch at Sawaba, a predominantly Muslim community in Kumasi.
Municipal Chief Executive for Asokore Mampong, Alhaji Nurudeen Hamidan, is among the first to invest in the Fund.
He is confident Ghana will soon have a number of Islamic Banks spread across the country because of the high profitability based on the “interest and cost sharing principle”.
“In Islamic Banking, the 100% profit is shared accordingly, as against the traditional banks that we have here where a percentage is given to you as profit or dividend on your investment and the bulk of the money is kept by the bank for their operations,” he observed.
Islamic Scholar, Sheikh Osman Bawa Hafiz Olando, is confident the Fund will empower Muslims and reduce crime rates in Muslim communities across the country.
“It is our responsibility as individuals, organizations, churches and mosques, associations to come up with those jobs for our children and grandchildren to have something to do so that they can uplift their lives and localities for a better Ghana,” he said.