HE the Governor of the Qatar Central Bank Sheikh Abdulla bin Saoud al-Thani has outlined opportunities and challenges facing the development of Islamic financial technology (fintech) amid global and regional economic uncertainties.
Speaking at a lecture hosted by Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar (CMU-Q), the governor said some of the challenges facing fintech startups include a reticence from the finance industry to adopt new technologies, a need to modify the behaviours of users, and a limited access to funding.
At the same time, these challenges also present opportunities for growth in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region, he continued. Sheikh Abdulla noted that the Middle East accounted for only 1.8% of global fintech investments over the past five years. As of 2016, the Mena region was home to only 105 fintech startups.
CMU-Q Dean Michael Trick said, “Sheikh Abdulla provides an important perspective for our students, especially those who are studying business administration, computer science, and information systems.
“The area of fintech is transforming the global economy, and our students have tremendous opportunities to harness technological tools and create ways for international finance to be more efficient, profitable, and secure.”
While CMU-Q offers undergraduate programmes in biological sciences, business administration, computational biology, computer science, and information systems, all students are encouraged to reach across disciplines for projects, research, and study. This interdisciplinary climate has inspired several alumni teams to pursue careers in entrepreneurship, including in the area of fintech.
For more than a century, Carnegie Mellon University has challenged the curious and passionate to imagine and deliver work that matters. A private, top-ranked and global university, Carnegie Mellon sets its own course with programmes that inspire creativity and collaboration.
In 2004, Carnegie Mellon and Qatar Foundation began a partnership to deliver select programmes that will contribute to the long-term development of Qatar. Today, CMU-Q offers undergraduate programmes in biological sciences, business administration, computational biology, computer science, and information systems.
Nearly 400 students from 38 countries call CMU-Q home. Graduates from CMU-Q are making a deep impact in Qatar and around the world. Most choose careers in top organisations, and many have completed graduate studies. A growing number are pursuing entrepreneurial projects. With 11 graduating classes, the total number of alumni is nearly 800.
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