Gulf African Bank Launches Annisaa Centre Designed for Women
Gulf African Bank, Kenya's pioneer fully Shar'iah Compliant Bank, launched a new centre totally dedicated to serve the needs of women by the women called an Annisaa Centre on 17th July 2012. Annisaa is an Arabic word meaning woman. This new centre has been designed to cater for women looking unique banking services. The New Annisaa Centre is an indication of the commitment of the Gulf African Bank to empower ladies as well as restoring gender equity and dignity. The roles that men and women play in society are not biologically determined; they are socially determined, changing and changeable. The branch will uphold the dignity of women because Islam discourages over interaction between men and women. This new centre is exclusively run by women is open to all women irrespective of their religion.
“We believe that women need specialized banking services because of their unique roles in the society as wives, mothers, business women and career women. Our ladies only account, ‘Annisaa Account’ seeks to satisfy the various needs of women with special benefits designed to fit their needs perfectly. At the launch of this account we promised to give our Account holders innovative financial solutions and to continuously come up with new ways to deliver our services. This is an exclusive centre for the women by the women and it is one of a kind in the country. All personnel serving in this centre are women.’’ Said the Gulf African Bank CEO, Asad Ahmed.
In her remarks the Gulf African Bank company secretary Amina Bashir said that many Muslim women could not access credit because of interest charged by conventional banks which is against their religious beliefs. Islam forbids the charging of interest on credit and money is advanced on a joint ownership arrangement known as asset banking. “We share the profit with you because trading is allowed,” says Mrs. Bashir.
The New Annisaa centre was officially launched at a colorful ceremony by Hon. Martha Karua. ‘‘Kenya is among the growing number of countries taking up Islamic banking viewed by many as the faster growing segment of banking. Islamic banking today is not restricted to Muslims or Islamic banks, it is product that is sold even by conventional banks including in major global financial centres. The world over, the scales have always been tilted in favour of men. A critical aspect of promoting gender equality therefore is the empowerment of women, with a focus on identifying and redressing power imbalances and giving women more autonomy to manage their own lives. The launch of this initiative is a demonstration by the Gulf African Bank of its commitment to giving women space to chart out their own destiny. The launch of this New Centre will therefore allow ladies from a cross section of divides and faiths maintain feminine dignity and honor when seeking banking services. I wish to request other financial institutions too to emulate this positive gesture’’. Said the Gichugu MP, Hon. Martha Karua.
Gulf African Bank launched Annisaa account in 2008. The account can be used as a current or savings account. “If you have Annisaa account with over Sh10, 000, we will pay profit on it,” said Service manager Najma Jabri.
Gulf African Bank was incorporated in August, 2006 and started operations as a commercial bank in 2008 becoming Kenya’s first fully-fledged Islamic bank. The bank has 14 branches, eight in Nairobi and six in other parts of the country. Its loan book grew from Sh6.3 billion as at March 2011 to Sh8.07 billion representing an increase of 11 per cent. In the first quarter of this year, the bank made a profit of Sh65.1 million while the profit for the year 2011 up to December was Sh95. 1 million.
For further press information, please contact:
Abdia Adan Dabaso
Corporate Affairs & Communications Manager
Tel: +254 20 2740000, 020 271 8608