Islamic Finance Volunteer Expert

  • Volunteer, Volunteer opportunity
  • Posted on 18 June 2019

Job Description

SCOPE OF WORK

Islamic Finance Volunteer Expert

Location of Assignment: Dar es Salaam & Zanzibar, Tanzania

Proposed Level of Effort: 3 weeks

Anticipated Start Date: July 2019

Anticipated End Date: August 2019

Background

The Tanzania Enabling Growth through Investment and Enterprise Program (ENGINE) is a USAID-funded Feed the Future activity that aims to streamline and enhance many of the regulatory, informational and financial channels that encourage domestic and foreign investment in the southern mainland agricultural regions of Mbeya, Morogoro, and Iringa, and in Zanzibar.

ENGINE works at the district level, using a broad-based approach to engage with district Local Government Authorities (LGAs), private sector associations, business development service providers, financial institutions and small and medium enterprises.

Problem Statement

Islamic Banking emerged in Tanzania in 2008 and has grown in popularity due to the country’s large population. Despite its rapid growth, interest and opportunities in Islamic financing continue to be great.

In order to explore the untapped market, financial institutions in Tanzania need to better understand the specifics of Islamic banking practices, which are quite different from those that apply to conventional banking. ENGINE is seeking an experienced volunteer expert in Islamic finance to work alongside a Tanzanian microfinance institution (MFI). The MFI needs support to operationalize designed Islamic loan and saving products and to train its staff at its new sharia-compliant branch.

Objectives of the Assignment

This assignment aims to support and build the capacity of the Microfinance institution staff on core principles and models of Islamic finance, and also establish a framework for staff to understand how Islamic financial institutions operate and differences between the Shariah compliant way of doing banking and the conventional financial system.

The volunteer expert will work closely with the MFI staff to make sure they are well equipped to fully serve their clients with Islamic products. The volunteer will also conduct a workshop for staff with hands–on case studies on existing Islamic transactions that will be analyzed and discussed, also present current circumstances of the application of Islamic finance in practice and give an up‐to‐date overview about the existing and upcoming Islamic finance markets. The assignment will enable the microfinance institution to:

  • Be Introduced to the basics of Islamic banking and finance and to the Islamic law of contracts;
  • Get a detailed understanding of financial techniques applied by Islamic banks;
  • Get a thorough understanding of the essentials of Islamic corporate governance;
  • Get an understanding about all basic Islamic banking products and the differences to conventional products
  • Learn how all these concepts can be implemented in different case studies.
  • Understand the existing and upcoming Islamic finance markets.
  • See, how financial knowledge can be transformed into the daily Islamic banking and finance business.
  • Understand the differences of the conventional concepts of banking and finance and Islamic banking and finance.
  • Understanding of Islamic agency banking

Anticipated Tasks

The Expert Volunteer will complete the following tasks:

Prior to departure:

  1. After receiving confirmation to work with ENGINE, the volunteer will coordinate closely with the IESC office in Tanzania, review available Microfinance institution information including the already developed Islamic loan product and identify any country or institution-specific information needed to tailor the materials to the local context.
  2. Develop effective workshop materials and finalize details of the assignment. The volunteer is encouraged to incorporate case studies and practical examples in the materials.

Upon arrival in Tanzania:

  1. Attend an orientation meeting with ENGINE Program staff in Dar es Salaam.
  2. Meet with the Microfinance institution for introduction and start of the assignment.
  3. Spend time with the MFI to understand their operations and review the available Islamic products, also work with the selected MFI staff to mentor and support them to fully understand their roles at the new sharia-compliant branch.
  4. Analyze the collected information and work with the FI staff to provide solutions.
  5. Assist staff and the Microfinance bank on:
  1. Accounting and financial management:
  • Establish and operationalize sharia compliant accounting system
  • Establish and operationalize accrual accounting methods for the Islamic component of the bank
  • Assist the IT department on setting customization of the core banking
  • Assist staff on preparation of sharia compliance financial statement that include
  • Balance sheet
  • Income statement
  • Cash flow statement
  • Statement of shareholders’ equity
  1. Lending operations:
  • Establish lending procedures for asset financing
  • Establish mechanism to handle default
  • Establish mechanism on how to handle pre-loan fees
  1. Deposit:
  • Assist in establishment of record keeping
  • Cash policy set up
  • Daily report set up
  • Any other policy necessary to start operationalizing deposits
  1. Provide recommendations to the ENGINE program staff on potential follow-up assignment with the hosts.
  2. Write a final report summarizing observations and recommendations, as well as follow-up plans. The final report is discussed in the section on deliverables below.
  3. Attend a debriefing session with ENGINE COP and host organization staff members to provide feedback and discuss the recommended future to follow up on volunteer recommendations and capture impact.

Deliverables

The Expert Volunteer will submit the following deliverables:

  1. i) To be submitted prior to delivering the workshop:
  1. Training materials that include practical examples, case studies and group exercises.
  1. ii) To be submitted after concluding the workshop:
  1. Final Report: Volunteer must submit a Final Report and tools to the ENGINE Program, which is to include the following sections:
  1. A summary of observations and activities completed while on assignment
  2. A list of 5-7 specific and actionable recommendations for the host organization(s). These recommendations will be reviewed during the debriefing session with ENGINE staff at the end of the assignment and the volunteer may revise them in their Final Report.
  3. A section listing the assignment objectives above and how they were met or why they were not met.

Additionally, the Expert Volunteer will provide exit debriefings to the ENGINE staff.

Volunteer Qualifications

  • Minimum university level of education in business, finance, banking, Islamic banking, management, accounting, economics or related field;
  • Minimum 3 years’ experience in Islamic finance/banking position required.
  • Experience in designing and implementing Islamic loans and saving products is strongly preferred.
  • Understanding of activities required for Islamic loans and saving products development
  • Experience in providing consulting services to microfinance institutions on Islamic finance and financial inclusion
  • Excellent interpersonal, communication and training skills, including training in group settings;
  • Ability to address issues, challenges, questions and concerns in a professional, respectful, logical and timely manner;
  • Flexibility and adaptability to cross-cultural environments;
  • Good writing and computer skills;
  • Experience working in developing countries is preferred.

About the Organization

The International Executive Service Corps is a Washington, DC based not-for-profit that focuses on private sector growth. We support and catalyze the development of private enterprises, business support organizations, financial institutions, and public institutions around the world. Utilizing skilled consultants and expert volunteers, we’ve implemented over 25,000 short-term projects and 200 programs in 130 countries. True to our mission — Promoting Prosperity and Stability through Private Enterprise — we’re proud to have created over one million jobs across the globe

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