Waqf, in plural awqaf, is defined as a perpetual endowment. It is an Islamic charitable endowment and an essential component of Islamic social finance. Creating a waqf involves setting aside certain assets and preserving them so that benefits continuously flow to the ultimate beneficiaries. The corpus which is the endowed asset of a waqf can be in kinds such as real estate and shares, or it can be cash.
Financing awqaf is a new model for development financing and pioneered by the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) through the Awqaf Properties Investment Fund (APIF). APIF was established following the approval of the 6th meeting of Awqaf Ministers of Member Countries of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in 1997. The Fund commenced operations in 2001, reflecting IsDB’s previous efforts to support the awqaf sector, operationalizing this through an impact investment fund. The objective of the APIF is to finance revenue-generating physical real estate assets in a sustainable manner with both long-term and short-term impacts, whose returns then contribute to the 2030 Agenda.
Welcome to this case study, “Activating Waqf for Sustainable Development: Awqaf Properties Investment Fund (APIF)”, by Dr. Mohamed Ali Chatti, Manager, Awqaf Investment Funds Division & Acting Director, Islamic Financial Sector Development (IFSD) Department, Islamic Development Bank (IsDB).
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