Professor Dr. Aishath Muneeza Honored with Lifetime Achievement Award for Pioneering Innovative Islamic Finance Products & Services in the Maldives

Muneeza has been awarded the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award by Uto Edu Consult of Sri Lanka, in recognition of her exceptional contributions to the field of Islamic finance. The award was presented by His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Shafeeq, Minister of Finance of the Republic of Maldives, at a ceremony held at Meeruma Hotel, Malé, Maldives, celebrating a decade of the Maldives Islamic Banking and Finance Industry Conference.

Professor Dr. Muneeza, known for her pioneering role in establishing the sukuk market in the Maldives, recounted her journey during her speech at the ceremony. She reflected on the challenges faced in introducing Islamic financial instruments in a market dominated by conventional finance.

"In 2011, I embarked on the task of creating a sukuk market at the behest of Ms. Shafeega, then CEO of the Capital Market Development Authority. Despite initial interest from private entities, regulatory constraints and the absence of a suitable platform posed significant hurdles," Professor Dr. Muneeza recalled.

Her breakthrough came with HDFC, a delisted conventional mortgage company, where she spearheaded the creation of an Islamic window named HDFC Amna. This initiative involved establishing a Shariah Committee and developing innovative products tailored for Islamic finance principles.

"In 2012, HDFC Amna was inaugurated, marking a pivotal moment in our journey. However, securing initial funding remained a challenge," she noted. Support from Maldives Islamic Bank (MIB) and Amana Takaful facilitated the operational launch, culminating in the country's first corporate sukuk issuance in 2013.

Professor Dr. Muneeza emphasized the collaborative efforts that underpinned these achievements, including navigating regulatory frameworks to gazette necessary regulations for Islamic capital market operations.

Her dedication and visionary leadership have not only transformed the landscape of Islamic finance in the Maldives but also set a precedent for sustainable financial practices in the region.

The Lifetime Achievement Award celebrates Professor Dr. Muneeza's commitment to advancing financial inclusivity and ethical banking principles, positioning the Maldives as a hub for Islamic finance excellence.