Posted on June 14, 2015

In a mandate by Qatar’s Financial Markets Development Committee (FMDC), Qatar Finance and Business Academy (QFBA) has launched the KAFA’A initiative to elevate and advance Qatar’s financial services sector.Designed as a Training & Competency framework that brings together the sector’s entities and regulators, KAFA’A will serve as an open and collaborative platform, evolving the capabilities and knowledge of industry professionals to match global standards through strategically defined qualifications and targeted training programs.

On this occasion, Dr. Abdulaziz Al Horr, CEO of QFBA, commented: “under the joint sponsorship of the Qatar Central Bank, Qatar’s Financial Markets Development Committee and the Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority, KAFA’A is a quality-centred initiative aimed at elevating banking professionals’ performance, qualifications and competencies, and contributing to their personal growth. It is also a pioneering industry body model with unprecedented structure, depth and breadth; all of which are very much needed and deserved by the Qatari banking and financial sector.”

He added: “KAFA’A will join hands with regulators and other players to mitigate market risk and increase systemic stability, effectively correcting market inconsistencies and discrepancies, ensuring stringent qualifications for sector professionals, and expanding on the industry’s competitive capabilities and edge on both a regional and global level.” Dr. Abdulaziz Al Horr asserted that KAFA’A will play a unique role in collaborating with all industrial bodies in Qatar to grow, evaluate and develop competitive talents to match global standards and benchmarks.

KAFA’A launch spearheads efforts 2 [].jpgHe says: “We’ve received an overwhelming response, but also very serious support from market players and key stakeholders in Qatar’s financial sector. We’re confident that the conversations that are already taking place between professionals, institutions and regulators will cross over to tangible and impactful action plans that will evolve the industry’s direction toward becoming a regional powerhouse with international promise, very much aligned with the National Vision 2030.”

Expanding on the importance and objectives of KAFA’A, Dr. Abdulaziz Al Horr explained: “When we initially set out to define the KAFA’A model, structure and mission, we ensured that our vision for the framework was aligned with the latest global trends and direction in qualification and competency standardization. To this end, we thoroughly studied and examined the largest global case studies and experiments in this arena, in markets like Singapore, Hong Kong, the UK and Australia.

We built on these case studies and learnings to develop a framework that would take these successful models further, in tandem with an action and communication plan following a clearly defined and phased timeline. Our efforts have culminated in a holistic, integrated system for professional and competency standards within Qatar’s financial and banking sector. This system will, in turn, map out targeted programs to develop the competencies of Qatar’s finance and banking professionals.”

He continued saying: “The KAFA’A initiative will serve as a platform regrouping the largest institutions and bodies in the banking, insurance and capital marketssectors in a collaborative environment that will benefit the mutual growth of all three pillar industries for Qatar, as well as for Islamic banking and capital markets.” In line with this ambitious vision, the KAFA’A T&C framework encompasses key disciplines across the three sectors, including, 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.

The Qatar Central Bank, the Qatar Financial Markets Authority and the QFC Regulatory authority, the financial regulators for KAFA’A, will provide the framework with a robust structure and support, encompassing licensing, supervision and surveillance, consumer protection, financial stability, economics, reserve management, issuer management, financial products, intermediaries and exchanges, among others.