PROSPECTS FOR ISLAMIC MICROFINANCE UNDER THE EXISTING LEGAL AND REGULATORY FRAMEWORK IN LIBERIA
Keywords:Legal, Regulatory Framework, Islamic, Microfinance, Liberia
There is no specific regulation or legislative framework for Islamic microfinance operations in Liberia. This is largely due to the non-application of Islamic laws in the country, despite the increasing economic strength of Muslims in the country. This article aims to examine whether the existing laws in Liberia permit the establishment and operation of Islamic microfinance. The research employed a qualitative analytical approach, which examines legal and regulatory framework for the microfinance sector in Liberia. The materials and data which include related laws were collected, and analysed inductively to suit the needs of the research. This article argues that, the existing laws including the Liberian constitution and other relevant financial regulations such as, the Central Bank of Liberia Act of 1999, the New Financial Institutions Act of 1999 and the Microfinance Policy and Regulatory & Supervisory Framework for Liberia (MPRSFL) have no objection to the introduction of Islamic microfinance in the country. This research is a first to appraise critically some relevant laws on the legal framework of microfinance in Liberia and its relevance to Islamic microfinance. The Financial Institutions Act of 1999 confers on the Central Bank of Liberia the powers to regulate and supervise all financial institutions in the country, including the microfinance providers. The article concludes that the stakeholders need to continue supporting the microfinance sector, including Islamic microfinance in Liberia by building an appropriate legal ecosystem that providing for a smooth running of microfinance programmes in the country.
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