The Initiative aims to deliver six activities:
1. Transformative Dialogues on Halal Economy
The transformative dialogues through the AFRIEF Roundtables will create the space for extensive conversations among policymakers, private sector, civil society and independent professionals. It will provide opportunities for the various actors to have a greater understanding of Halal economy issues and to shape innovative approaches to strengthen the sector. Inter and intra-disciplinary actions are essential to enhance the socio-economic dimension of Halal economy.
2. Transformative Strategies on Halal Economy
The cross-cutting nature of the Halal economy requires innovative approaches, calling for concerted multi-actor and multi-disciplinary actions. Policymakers will be empowered to design transformative development strategies to integrate Halal economy into national plans for development gains. Governments will be assisted with a view to putting in place policies, regulations and institutional mechanisms needed to optimize the socio-economic potential of the Halal sector for job creation, trade expansion, innovation and social inclusion.
3. Training Programs on Halal Entrepreneurship
Participants will be provided with opportunities to enhance their entrepreneurship capacities, optimizing the potential of their Halal products and services. The course will further develop skills on entrepreneurship and equip entrepreneurs to establish and nurture their businesses (Micro and/or SMEs) as well as to develop their capacities for innovation. It will particularly target youth and women entrepreneurs. As a result, participants should be able to develop their own sustainable business models within their surrounding Halal economy. The Training Programs will be based on a blend of learning methods, combining different approaches. It will focus on participatory activity-oriented learning, and will integrate relevant case-studies and role play.
4. Halal Project Development
The Initiative will design, support and manage Halal projects of all sizes and shepherd them through various financing (debt and equity), assistance and incentive programs. The initiative will as well support Halal service providers – from those providing technical assistance like business planning and concept testing, to those providing capital and beyond – that help Halal businesses grow and thrive, while connecting them to each other and the people they serve.
5. Open Knowledge & Networking Platform
The Open Knowledge & Networking Platform (OKNP) will tap on crowdsourcing tools and methodologies to collect, aggregate and disseminate knowledge on Halal economy. A wealth of information is available on Halal economy, but this information often does not reach stakeholders in formats that are easy to understand or to use. The digital platform will bridge this gap.
6. Halal Enterprise Development
The SME sector forms the backbone of economic development, private sector employment, capital investments and GDP growth. Despite their importance to economic output SMEs still have inadequate access to finance and other banking services. As a result many SMEs in Africa tend to be concentrated in less capital intensive sectors, such as retail and wholesale trade. This scenario not only restricts the development of small enterprises but retards the general economic growth and development of a country.
The project is to develop the potential of using cooperative networks that offer thrift and retail financial products that complies with ethical-financing principles of Islam as effective strategy to both advance the state-of-the-practice in micro-small-medium enterprise development and microfinance as well as to design and implement innovative, integrated, market-based approaches to sustainable growth and poverty reduction in Africa.