H.E. President Abdoulaye Wade, President of Senegal, 11th Summit of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference

13 March 2008, Dakar - Senegal

President of Senegal Abdoulaye Wade
President of Senegal Abdoulaye Wade

Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade has called on leaders in Islamic countries' to use their wealth to fight poverty and further health and development for mothers and children.

During his inaugural speech at 11th Summit of the Organisation of The Islamic Conference (OIC) in Dakar, President Wade focused largely on the major political and religious issues faced by the 57 Muslim countries in the organization. "We have no other choice" said President Wade, calling the Oummah countries to think about the "challenges of globalisation" when tackling the main theme of the Conference: The Islamic Oummah in the 21st Century".

Tackling the core issue of mobilisation of financial resources, President Wade asked that oil-rich countries use the interest generated by this wealth to fight poverty in Africa and finance solutions to social problems. The President suggested the creation of a commission which would define the mechanism to collect a money for the "development and poverty eradication fund", arguing that these funds--expected to amount to US$ 10 billion-- could be focussed on solving the problems of the children, and reducing maternal and child mortality.

President Wade also called on his distinguished audience to continue the work already started by the OIC to improve the situation of women and the young in their respective countries.

Extract from the speech

" I suggest to create a commission with representatives of the FIQH (Islamic Law) academies, Member States' "oulémas" (theologians), economists and other finance professionals from the Oummah countries to evaluate, define mechanisms for mobilizing resources for the Development and Poverty eradication Fund. These amounts, instead of being used exclusively by the banks, could sort all our problems of poverty and economic development.

"If instead of collecting the forbidden interests generated by the deposits we retained them in favour of our Members States' development, the expected US $ 10 billion fund could be used towards sorting the problems of our children, and reducing maternal and child mortality". -Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade

"Je suggère plutôt la mise en place d’une commission avec des représentants des Académies du FIQH, des Oulémas des pays membres, des économistes et des financiers des pays de la Oummah pour faire leur évaluation, définir des mécanismes de collecte dans un fonds de développement et d’éradication de la pauvreté. Ces sommes, au lieu de servir uniquement les banques, pourraient très largement résoudre tous nos problèmes de pauvreté et de décollage économique. Si l’idée de collecte des intérêts prohibés par la Sharia générés par les dépôts est retenue en faveur du développement des pays membres, le fonds prévu de 10 milliards de USD pourrait être orienté plutôt vers les problèmes de l’enfance, de la mortalité infantile et maternelle. "

Président Abdoulaye Wade.