By: Habib Mustafa
His Eminence Sheikh Shaban Ramadhan Mubaje, the Mufti of Uganda has hosted Dr. Issahaq Umar Iddrisu, the African Regional Hub Manager at the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), based in Kampala Capital City.
During the meeting, Dr. Iddrisu was accompanied by his executive secretary, Ms. Rashida Juma.
The cordial gathering was attended by esteemed officials from the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council (UMSC), including His Eminence Sheikh Abdallah Ibrahim Ssemambo Tamusuza, the Deputy Mufti, Hon. Prof. Dr. Muhammadi Lubega Kisambira, the UMSC National Chairperson, Dr. Sheikh Ziyad Swaleh Lubanga, the Director of Sharia, Dr. Asadu Sentongo, an Executive Committee Member, Imam Shafi Kagiko, member of the General Assembly, Dr. Sheikh Muhammad Hussein Bbowa, the Busoga Regional Assistant to the Mufti, Sheikh Imran Ssali, the Secretary for Religious Affairs, and Sheikh Abdul-Karim Abdallah Katamba, the Director of the Halal department, among others.
In his welcoming address, Mufti Mubaje highlighted the rich history of UMSC since its inception in 1972, its structure covering ten Muslim regions and 78 Muslim districts, with over 15,000 subscribing mosques scattered across the country. “We enjoy close Cooperation with the Government, which recently provided us funds that were utilized for the UMSC Constitutional review including subsequent amendments and nationwide elections last year,” Sheikh Mubaje remarked.
He said that UMSC is currently focused on implementing Sharia-compliant social transformation programs, requiring both technical and financial support. Dr. Lubega elaborated on the 5-year Strategic Development Plan devised by UMSC, which centered around seven key points: Social-economic well-being of Muslims, Financial Health of UMSC, Education with an emphasis on vocational skilling for youth and women, Capacity Development of Muslim Clerics, Dawah – Islamic Propagation, Institutional Development & Strengthening, and Health, Sanitation, and Water services.
The plan also encompassed various social transformation projects related to agriculture, animal rearing, and value addition for income generation and export. Dr. Lubega concluded his remarks by requesting a formalized partnership between UMSC and IDB. During the meeting, Dr. Asadu Sentongo and Hon. Imam Shafi Kagiko, both Members of the General Assembly, highlighted the pivotal role of UMSC in the governance of Muslim affairs. They expressed confidence in the transformative and well-guided leadership of the institution.
Dr. Iddrisu expressed his delight at the warm welcome extended to him and shed light on the global role played by the Islamic Development Bank (IDB). He presented various opportunities available to UMSC, such as the availability of funds for social transformation projects for local communities, scholarships, and financing income-generating projects like the construction of Awqaf (endowment) buildings on prime land, for instance, in Kampala Capital City. The two parties engaged in extensive discussions and agreed to maintain close contact for future cooperation.