27 August 2009, Dhaka. BRAC for the first time has entered the fast growing Islamic Finance Industry. BRAC is providing Technical Assistance (TA) to Bank Al Usra in Khartoum, Sudan. This is being carried out under the one year agreement of USD 334,880 signed between the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Jeddah, Central Bank of Sudan (CBOS) and BRAC Bangladesh.
With BRAC’s assistance, Bank Al Usra’s performance has been praised in the banking sector of Sudan for its outreach in both rural and urban areas, and meeting the needs of the communities. BRAC has successfully completed the first three months of its Technical Assistance to Bank Al Usra. A three member BRAC Microfinance specialist team led by Murtaza Reza Chowdhury arrived in Khartoum on April to assist in building the capacity of Bank Al Usra, the first Islamic Microfinance Bank in Sudan. Based on the team’s performance during the first three months, IDB has already paid the second installment to BRAC.
Bank Al Usra has eleven branch offices (six of which had been opened with the assistance of BRAC TA team) in four states. Eight more branches are to be opened by the end of the Agreement in March 2010.