The chairman of Africa Muslim Agency Sheikh Ismail Hassan (Left), Dr. Muhammad al Khamis the Africa Education Development Trust (AEDT) board chair, Abdulrahman al Muhailan and Parliament majority leader Aden Duale follow proceedings during an AEDT luncheon last Friday.

An interest free loan scheme to support the education of undergraduate students is being proposed to help students realize their educational dreams. If implemented, the finance study programmer by the Africa Education Development Trust (AEDT) will provide a much-needed relief to university students grappling with higher education costs.

A government student loan scheme provided by the Higher Education Loan Board (HELB) though benefitting students in public universities comes with an interest repayment component, which goes against the religious ideals of Muslim students.

The board chairman Dr. Muhammad Al Khamis said the success of the current post graduate loan scheme has generated requests for supporting undergraduate students, a matter which had been given due consideration. “The Board of Trustees will discuss in its agenda, a proposal from the executive committee and the secretariat on the possibility of introducing a product which is a soft loan for Bachelor Programed,” he said during an AEDT luncheon last week.

He said since the inception of the programmed four years ago, a growing number of Kenyans have benefitted from the study program pledging that AEDT will continue its support towards the growth of education through the introduction of new products.

On his part, the AEDT CEO Umar Hussein Abdullah said the program is complementing on the social pillars of the country’s 2030 blueprint which is anchored on education. “Indeed, education and in particular, investment in human capital remains the most important factor, in socioeconomic development of any society,” he said.

The AEDT study loan program is based on a revolving fund concept where beneficiaries are required to pay back the loan, which in turn is used to benefit o there.

So far, 235 students have been supported in pursuing Masters and PhD courses. The ten-year loan scheme ultimately targets 670 beneficiaries by 2023 at a cost of US$1 million (Sh 102 million).
One of beneficiaries of the loan scheme is involved in an innovative ground breaking research project developing a Somali braille, a finger reading system for visually impaired persons.

Among those in attendance at the luncheon were the chairman of the management board of Africa Muslim Agency (AMA) based in Kuwait Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Muhailan, the leader of the majority in the National Assembly Aden Duale, the Garissa Senator Muhammad Yusuf Haji, the AMA country director Sheikh Ismail Hassan and Sheikh Suhaib Hassan the general secretary of the Shariah Council of UK.