Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), Al-Farabi Kazakh National University, and Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) have opened an Islamic Finance Centre (IFC) in Kazakhstan.

HBKU president Dr Ahmad M Hasnah attended the opening of the IFC at Al-Farabi Kazakh National University in Almaty, Kazakhstan, along with the rector of the University, Dr Galym Mutanov, and AIFC board vice chairman Yernur Rysmagambetov.

The IFC is equipped with the most advanced technological tools offering training programmes with the aims of being a hub for the research and educational cluster in Islamic finance. HBKU's College of Islamic Studies (CIS) will support this centre through faculty expertise in the area of Islamic finance and economy.

In addition, the two institutions will be working on student exchange programmes, joint conferences, and mutual research projects to promote Islamic finance studies. CIS, as a global leader in Islamic finance, works to support other entities in establishing academic programmes and research in this area.

HBKU’s partnership with one of the leading universities in Kazakhstan will open the door for promoting the Islamic finance arena.

Dr Hasnah said: “Our common goal is to develop relationships based on success and prosperity. This partnership adds a great value in contributing to building a unique bridge between Qatar’s strategy and Central Asia. I look forward to the moment when we congratulate our first graduates.”

At the opening ceremony, the rector of Kazakh National University highlighted that the training of highly qualified personnel is a vital tool for the growth of the innovation economy. Moreover, the AIFC prepares professionals for the future where human capital is the main key for development.

During the event, a roundtable discussion was held under the theme of “Islamic Finance in Kazakhstan: Prospects and Opportunities”.

Arising from this partnership, during the Astana Economic Forum 2019, a memorandum of understanding was also signed between HBKU, Al-Farabi Kazakh National University, and AIFC on May 17 in Astana. This MoU describes a strategic partnership that will result in great benefits and outcomes for both sides. It will allow experienced professors to support the initial launch of the IFC at Kazakh National University by bringing all the experience, expertise, and best practices to the classrooms from Islamic Finance and Islamic Banking practices in Qatar since the 1990s.

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