MANAMA: The Islamic International Rating Agency (IIRA) and the International Institute of Islamic Waqf (IIIW) yesterday announced the signing of a memorandum of co-operation on rating services, capacity building and promoting transparency and standardisation across the Waqf sector in both Muslim and non-Muslim countries.
Co-operation between the organisations will include efforts to strengthen human capital across charitable Waqf organisations and foundations globally through seminars, conferences, training programmes and workshops.
“This is an important collaboration for IIRA and represents the extension of the fiduciary ratings services we already provide to Islamic financial institutions to the awqaf sector. It will be a critical step forward in efforts to establish greater accountability in the management of awqaf assets and serve as a major driving force in integrating Waqf organisations into Islamic financial markets thereby mobilising a massive and largely idle pool of Islamic capital, which is estimated to be anywhere between $100 billion to $1 trillion,” said IIRA president - strategic planning and global relationships Faheem Ahmad.
IIIW chief executive Anas Al Dowayan said: “Given the massive size of the waqf industry, today we need to take decisive measures and engage in strategic partnerships for a real paradigm shift in order to maximise the vast potential of waqf institutions. Our aim, to jointly establish an awqaf rating will help financial, regulatory and international organisations better understand the waqf industry. It will also help ensure that boards of trustees are better prepared to examine, benchmark and improve their waqf institutions and their management through a clear rating scheme.”
“From this co-operation, we expect that we can help to unlock the great untapped value that exists within distressed awqaf assets by helping to put in place well-structured Sharia-compliant financial products that help waqf beneficiaries and the Islamic finance markets,” he added.