Astana International Financial Centre has received three prestigious GIFA awards in the field of Islamic Finance

On September 29, 2018, Governor of the Astana International Financial Centre (hereinafter – AIFC) Kairat Kelimbetov took part in the ceremony of awarding the most prestigious award in the field of Islamic Finance – Global Islamic Finance Awards (GIFA). Astana International Financial Centre has received three awards. The award for “Institutional support of Islamic Finance” was received by the AIFC Governor Kairat Kelimbetov. Director of the Department of Islamic Finance Alibek Nurbekov was awarded in an individual nomination for “Policy development in the field of Islamic Finance,” the AIFC Bureau was awarded for “Initiatives for the development of human capital” in the field of Islamic Finance.

The eighth ceremony of the prestigious award of the Islamic world was held in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. This event annually brings together heads of state and government of various countries, as well as representatives of international Islamic financial institutions.

“I would like to express my gratitude to the GIFA Committee for awarding the AIFC with the prestigious award for “Institutional support of Islamic Finance.” This recognition inspires us to further promote the Centre as a regional hub for Islamic Finance. The AIFC has created a favourable ecosystem for the development of Islamic Finance and this direction is one of the main priorities of the AIFC. It should also be noted that the initiatives taken by the AIFC in the promotion and development of Islamic Finance, improved the position of Kazakhstan in the rating of Islamic Finance Country Index from 31 in 2017 to 24 in 2018 according to the Global Islamic Finance Report (GIFR 2018),” said K. Kelimbetov.

It is worth noting that in 2017 the GIFA award ceremony was held in Astana. The Global Islamic Finance Report – GIFR – is issued annually within the framework of the award. It publishes a list of the best companies in the world in the field of Islamic finance. Among them was the AIFC.

The professional community highly appreciated the merits of the financial centre in the field of development and popularization of Islamic finance not only in Kazakhstan, but also in the region of presence. Currently, a full-fledged market of Islamic finance is being formed on the basis of the infrastructure of the AIFC. Favourable legal and regulatory framework in accordance with the best Islamic financial practices and standards was created with the support of international organizations such as the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB), Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI), and General Council for Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions (CIBAFI).

As part of the promotion and development of professional initiatives, the AIFC Bureau conducts training in five international certification programs in partnership with leading world financial institutions: International certification in Islamic banking and finance BIBF, Professional qualification in Islamic finance CISI, Professional certification in Islamic finance INCEIF, advanced diploma in Islamic Finance Area BIBF, Certified Islamic Professional Accountant AAOIFI. On the initiative of the AIFC Bureau, on July 4 of this year, the Association of Professionals in Islamic Finance was created during the Forum of Islamic Economics, aimed at ensuring effective interaction of market professionals. The Islamic Finance Week industry event is held annually, which brings together experts, professionals and financial institutions in the Islamic finance industry to share experiences and build an ecosystem around Islamic finance throughout the region.

Receiving three prestigious GIFA awards demonstrates the high appreciation of the international community and strengthens the position of the AIFC as a regional hub of Islamic finance, and also gives a new impulse for dynamic development in this direction.




Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC). In December 2015, the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, signed the Constitutional Law “On the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC), establishing the AIFC and its bodies. The goal of the AIFC is to become the leading international centre for financial services in the region.

The objectives of the AIFC are to attract investments into the economy of Kazakhstan by creating an attractive ecosystem for financial services, developing local capital markets, ensuring their integration with international capital markets and developing insurance, banking and Islamic finance markets of the Republic of Kazakhstan.


GIFA is the most prestigious award in the world, which is awarded for achievements and significant contribution to the development of the Islamic financial market. In different years, the GIFA Prize has been awarded to outstanding leaders who have made significant contributions to the development of the Islamic finance industry in the world. In 2014, the GIFA Prize was awarded to President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev in the individual category “Global Leader in Islamic Finance.

The AIFC Bureau specializes in popularizing international professional certifications, developing human resources and forming a pool of international professionals from local financial market specialists to work in the AIFC eco-system and beyond, as well as improving investment literacy through thematic events. The office cooperates with international partners in the field of professional certifications, such as:

BIBF – Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance;

INCEIF – International Center for the Education of Islamic Finance;

AAOIFI – Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions;

CISI – British Royal Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment.

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