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27 September 2011

Call to set up authority to manage Waqf assets

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Doha: There is a proposal to set up a governmental authority in Qatar to promote the effective management and investment of Waqf assets, the Minister of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs HE Dr Ghaith bin Mubarak bin Imran Al Kuwari said yesterday.

Opening a regional workshop on “Endowments- Investment and Management” here yesterday the Minister underlined Qatar’ s interest in promoting the endowments at the legislative and institutional levels.

The Ministry has proposed the establishment of a governance authority, which will be in charge of overseeing and boosting the Ministry’s financial departments that are responsible for managing Waqf assets, in addition to preparing financial feasibility studies, said the Minister.

This aim will not be achieved without the implementation of rehabilitation programmes for the employees in collaboration with investment, banking and Sharia experts in the development of Islamic Finance, he added.

The Minister said the workshop was part of the Ministry’s strategic plan that aims at developing research programmes led by a number of scholars, economists and investment experts; identifying new areas of investments and new managing processes as well as carrying out a financial monitoring system according to the principles of governance.

The Minister also pointed to the civilisational and social dimensions of developing the endowment institution, which has always played a pivotal role in the history of Muslims.

He underlined that the scope of endowments was not limited to helping the poor and needy Muslims but extend to areas such as preservation of the environment.

The four-day workshop is organised by the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs in collaboration with the Kuwaiti General Secretariat of Awqaf and the Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI), a member of the Jeddah-based Islamic Development Bank (IDB).

The workshop aims to provide professionals with expertise and skills needed to manage and invest endowments as well as training programmes to use modern means of financial management.

Some 45 representatives workings with Waqf institutions in several Arab and GCC countries are attending the workshop, along with Islamic scholars and financial experts.

(Courtesy: The Peninsula, Qatar)

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