Complex Made Simple

KAFA’A opens its doors for Qatar’s banking and finance sector

Qatar’s financial sector has long anchored its economic growth, backed by robust longstanding, local financial institutions and global powerhouse names

Capping a year of preparatory works, partnerships and close collaboration with the industry’s key players and the Regulators, KAFA’A, a championing Training & Competency framework and initiative aimed at elevating and advancing Qatar’s financial services sector, has officially opened its doors.

In a daylong launch event held on November 29 at the four season’s hotel in Doha under the patronage of His Excellency Mr. Ali Shareef Al Emadi, Qatar’s minister of finance, KAFA’A gathered a number of attendees including top-ranking government officials, authorities, regulators, industry professionals and media outlets to showcase its vision, mission, strategy, achievements and future course of action.

In a mandate by Qatar’s Financial Markets Development Committee (FMDC) to QFBA, KAFA’A was officially started by Qatar Finance and Business Academy (QFBA) in March 2013, with a chief mission to evolve the capabilities and knowledge of industry professionals, defragment targeted training and Continuous Professional Development (CPD) programs across Qatar’s financial institutions, and standardize qualification and competency benchmarks to match world-class standards.

Opening the launch event, Dr. Abdulaziz Al Horr, CEO at QFBA, said: “In the last five years, Qatar has been thrust into the international spotlight, led by a slew of mega developments and infrastructural projects that are ushering it into its next wave of transformational growth. It is a future that has been very clearly and focally imagined by the Qatar National Vision 2030, driven by economic diversification into mainstay and emerging growth sectors. Qatar’s financial sector has long anchored its economic growth, backed by robust longstanding, local financial institutions and global powerhouse names. But for it to continue its growth trajectory into more advanced and developed market levels, it must rise to world-class benchmarks and stature of competency, compliance and regulation.”

He added: “The establishment of KAFA’A embodies this very mission, pioneering an industry model with structure, depth and breadth, and bringing under its umbrella all stakeholders and ecosystem shapers in Qatar’s financial sector; a collaborative, knowledge-based, platform that follows through the future evolution of the sector’s key driving forces – conventional and Islamic banking, insurance and capital markets – by bridging gaps between educational and career advancement, job market gaps and competency development, and private and public sector policy and decision makers. “

Today, More than yearlong cooperative effort between QFBA, industry professionals, entities, institutions and regulators has materialized in a full-force launch for KAFA’A. Backed by your unwavering commitment to and support of our mission, we look forward to unlocking the wealth of opportunities for transforming Qatar’s financial sector into a regional powerhouse and putting it on the international map.”

Highlighting KAFA’A’s ambitions to standardize a stringent set of world-class competency development benchmarks, as well as targeted training programs for Qatar’s financial sector, Dr. Al Horr explained that the framework model was the culmination of extensive research studies on and assessment of not only the local market but, also, international case studies and best practices in developed markets like Singapore, Hong Kong, the UK and Australia.

At the event, interactive screens showcased the KAFA’A website, allowing attendees to navigate to explore the framework’s mission, achievements and partnerships. A 3D hologram presentation by Dr. Al Horr brought to life KAFA’A’s mission and envisioned the framework’s current and future objectives, opening the floor for an interactive discussion and Q&A session with the media.

The KAFA’A T&C framework encompasses key disciplines across but not limited to: retail, corporate and private banking; treasury and investments; risk management and compliance; finance; internal audit; insurance; and capital and Islamic capital markets. It is backed by a robust structure of financial regulators – The Qatar Central Bank, the Qatar Financial Markets Authority and the QFC Regulatory authority – that will support it in key areas, such as licensing, supervision and surveillance, consumer protection, financial stability, economics, reserve management, issuer management, financial products, intermediaries and exchanges, among others.