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More sharia compliant products in the offing

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 25 – Sharia\’h compliant insurance products will now be available in the market with the entry of Takaful Insurance of Africa.

Speaking during the launch, the insurance firm\’s CEO, Hassan Bashir said following the issuance of a license by the Insurance Regulatory Authority, they would offer schemes where policyholders contribute to their own account, where they may be entitled to dividends.

"The risk fund fully belongs to the members. Therefore TIA is committed to transparency with integrity and accountability. Creating longterm partnerships with those groups of people is one of our aims. If the pool is owned by shareholders, generally, shareholders collect dividends. If the pool is owned by the insured, the pool remains with the insurer, and at that point when the pool is healthy enough to give back, it doesn\’t give back to the shareholders. It gives back to the members," Mr Bashir said.

He said that besides having international strategic investors, the company\’s shareholders are Kenyan. He said that in line with the IRA the company has started off with a Sh600 million capital base.

"The regulator was pushing the industry to go beyond the Sh300 millions limit for the period ending 31st of December 2010. So we have started at a good point with a Sh600 million capital base. The capital is coming from Kenyans. The company is fully owned by Kenyans," he added.

In a speech read on his behalf by Tourism Minister, Najib Balala, Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka noted that Takaful encourages policyholders to cooperate among themselves for their common good, pay subscription to help the needy, spread liabilities and losses according to community pooling system besides eliminating uncertainties in respect to subscription compensation among others.

Mr Musyoka praised the Takaful Insurance products, saying it is a welfare-based business modelled to cater for the needs of the wider public rather than the affluent in the society only.

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