Muhammad Noor is a leading Rohingya Visionary and Activist Founder of Rohingya Project, Rohingya Vision, Rohingya Unicode and Rohingya Football Club

AFI – Financial inclusion of Forcibly Displaced Persons What is the role of FinTech?

Rohingya Innovation and Entrepreneurship

The Project takes a multi-pronged approach to tackling financial exclusion. The first approach, in cooperation with our FinTech partner Ata Plus Sdn Bhd, is through the creation of a secure and international Waqf-based ecosystem, to offer those Rohingya who for years have been sidelined, a range of financial applications and other services to encourage collaboration, innovation and entrepreneurship. Among the applications include apps to allow Rohingya to create their own personalized profiles and open themselves to freelance opportunities across borders, to manage projects and crowdsource the funds to build these projects, and other apps for resources and consensus-building across the diaspora.

A second important approach is through a regular series of training and capacity-building programs offered to Rohingya, in particular to Rohingya youth, through our dedicated Rohingya Training Center. These programs focus on vocational, management, accounting and digital skills to ensure that our Rohingya have the tools to develop their own career profiles.  Another critical part of tackling exclusion is through financial representation. Rohingya lack institutions that represent their collective interests, especially on the economic front. Having a viable community-led project interact hand in hand with financial institutions and government actors can greatly assist the process of financial integration of Rohingya into host economies, and open access to them to both the labor market and credit.

Since our launch last December, we have achieved a number of milestones and partnerships to lead to the realization of our vision. We have officially partnered with Pro-Civis, a Swiss e-government service to look towards the design and execution of the Blockchain-ID and registration system for the pilot phase of our project estimated in early 2019. The Rohingya Project has also engaged in an applied research partnership with the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington, USA to produce a soon-to-be-published feasibility study exploring the implications for our project within the international legal and financial framework. Along with this, the Rohingya Project continues to collaborate with international agencies, such as recently with the UNHCR by conducting a financial survey of stateless Rohingya based in Malaysia.

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