Posted on August 16, 2015

KAFA’A, the Training & Competency (T&C) framework incepted by the Qatar Finance Business Academy (QFBA) and mandated by Qatar’s Financial Markets Development Committee (FMDC), which saw its official launch earlier this month, has initiated a slew of activities and seminars with the banking sector ecosystem players, leading authorities and institutions in line with its efforts to elevate professional development for banking professionals, as well as to assess and address the sector’s competency and training needs.

“Qatar’s financial industry is enjoying economic prosperity led by high GDP per capita and infrastructural investments. It is also witnessing a transformative period punctuated by new growth sectors and diversification into non-hydrocarbon industries. In this dynamic environment, the KAFA’A project is launching with full speed as a multi-faceted framework aimed at not only elevating the financial sector’s qualifications and training capabilities in Qatar but, also, at building an integrated system to qualify, train and assess industry professionals against world-class standards benchmarks,” says Dr. Abdulaziz Al Horr, CEO of QFBA.

“To this end, KAFA’A aspires to be a springboard for a competitive talent pool that is equipped with the needed skill sets, capabilities and values to stretch its ambitions and that of the financial sector in Qatar. The project is the result of a collective effort by financial sector decision makers to actively tackle gaps in and need for a strategic framework that regulates and standardizes training and CPD (continual professional development) programs and that, effectively, elevates the industry to international caliber,” he adds.

The size of the Qatari financial workforce, a unique blend of local and expat talents, was estimated at 11,274 professionals by the 2012 Statistics Authority in Qatar – with the banking workforce alone aggregating 8,729 professionals – and projected to double in a matter of five to six years; “a great opportunity as much as it is a challenge. As we set out to evolve a competitive talent pool in Qatar that can hold its own against worldwide best practices and codes of conduct, we realize that there remain large inconsistencies and gaps in training and professional development for the financial sector,” adds Al Horr.

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KAFA’A’s preliminary surveys and research highlight gaps between demand and supply of training, limited access to facilities, lack of consistency in defining competency and a highly fragmented structure for continuing professional development within Qatar’s financial industry; all areas that the KAFA’A project will be actively tackling. Working closely with Qatar’s leading banking institutions and regulators and with the support of authoritative entities such as QCB, QFMA and the QFCRA, KAFA’A will hone an advanced T&C offering to cover knowledge, skill and value sharing; non-technical, technical, leadership and administrative skills; and the extension of a network of specialists and expert training providers.

KAFA’A’s banking sector vertical, which was officially initiated through several workshops with participating leading institutions in early 2015, is inclusive, covering all disciplines directly or indirectly related to the sector, including conventional and Islamic retail banking; corporate banking; private banking; treasury investments; compliance; finance; and risk management, among others.

In collaboration with industry experts, institutions and leading authorities, KAFA’A’s efforts will pour into raising the bar for Qatar’s financial sector, molding it into a regional powerhouse and a competitive platform with international promise, aligning with the QNV’s human development pillar, and bringing to life the “Strategic Plan for Financial Sector Regulation” launched in December 2013, in which H.E. The Governor of the Qatar Central Bank called for a framework unifying competencies and training.