Wednesday 13, September 2017 by Georgina Enzer

Kenya just stands out: Dr Adnan Chilwan, GCEO, Dubai Islamic Bank

In an interview with CPI Financial CEO, Dr. Adnan CHilwan, GCEO of Dubai Islamic Bank mentioned that Kenya stood out to the Bank as a stepping stone to expanding its operations into Africa.

Watch the video interview  here.

The bank has very recently moved into a new geography; in May 2017 DIB was granted a banking licence by the Central Bank of Kenya to operate a subsidiary, DIB Kenya Ltd. What’s the next step and what opportunities do you see?

From where we sit within UAE, if you visualise it geographically, we have always had ambitions to connect the dots. We always wanted to make sure we ventured into Far East Asia and East Africa. It is an ambition that Dubai itself has in order to make sure it captures the trade flows between these two continents. Being a bank in the UAE, we subscribe to that natural ambition and we want to make sure we can play a part in enhancing and capturing these trade flows.

Within the UAE we have gained momentum, as everyone has witnessed, we had already ventured into Far East Asia, East Africa was the next logical point. When you look at Africa as a continent, everyone talks about ‘the promise’ and ‘Africa rising’, you have to choose between West and East. From where we are geographically located, East Africa makes more sense. Now, when you look at the countries in the East Africa belt; Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Malawi; Kenya stands out. It is a country that stands out in its regulatory framework, the stability in the country and also the welcome that the Kenyan regulator has for an institution coming out of the Middle East

We worked alongside the regulator and now have a licence to operate, the bank is up and running, it is already open and we have ambitious plans for East Africa. Kenya is just the start, we are also looking at the East African belt, but we have to walk before we can run, so we are taking it at the right pace and making sure that the organisation actually comes out of this gestation period. Kenya is going to be a country we will be focussing on in years to come. 

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