Malawi’s IDB Scholarship in Limbo


Sheikh Dr Salmin Omar: Is a setback

There is a huge uncertainty over the future of the Islamic Development Bank IDB scholarships offered to Muslim students in Malawi after the sponsors have reduced the number of beneficiaries with fifty percent this year.

According to the information gathered by Malawi Muslims official website, the bank has decided to cut the number due to the failure of those who benefitted from respecting the agreement of paying back the money since the scholarship is awarded in form of interest free loan.

When the IDB started awarding the scholarships, it made clear that once the students have attained higher education and subsequently get employment, they should have a foundation in which they be paying back the loan to the foundation in form of contribution.

The money is meant to assist other needy Muslims in attaining higher education locally hence inculcating the spirit of assisting the less privileged in the Muslim society.

Nevertheless, this has not been the case though several Muslims in the southern African state have registered prosperity due to the IDB project that started a couple of decades ago.

The IDB has been carrying out this project through Muslim Association of Malawi (MAM) that has been benefitting six Muslim students annually.

Most of the recipients study in Turkey in various disciplines including medicine.

Meanwhile MAM‘s secretary general Dr Salmin Omar has described the reduction of the beneficiaries as a setback towards ensuring that the country is having more Muslims who attain university studies.

He said, “the problem was lack of coordination among the graduates informing a foundation per IDB requirements.

“Right now what we are doing is to make sure that these people should come together and start a project that will require them to be contributing towards the attainment of their fellow brothers and sisters of higher education, in so doing we will fight poverty amongst us.”

Meanwhile, MAM has already conducted the interviews for the prospect beneficiaries that saw over 40 students competing for three places.

Dr Salmin added that his association, with the reduction, fears that IDB might decide to stop awarding the scholarship if those who went through the same system are not complying with the initial agreement.

However, the Malawi’s IDB Project Coordinator Wilfred Ali brushed aside the fears that the scholarships might end.

Ali who also works for Central Eastern African Railways Limited (CEAR) as the Director of Marketing and Commercial Services said the reduction of the beneficiaries has come about due to the development in the Arab world.

“Most country members of IDB are from the Arab world. The bank’s role is to assist Muslims in non-member countries such as Malawi.

“Beginning last year up to date ,there have been several disturbances taking place in the Arab world in regard to economy and this has affected us in this way. There are not ending the scholarship but rather managing the resources that they have .we will see what will happen in the next years ,maybe it will go up when the economic situation changes for better in that world,” he explained.

He then admitted that there has a problem in running the foundation for those obtained higher education through the scholarships.

Ali added that the foundation has now been formed following discussions that have taken place with both IDB officials in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and the beneficiaries in the country.

Muslim students in Malawi rely on scholarships from Sudan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia among others since they have no their own Islamic University.


  1. thats what normally happens if people are self centred.most of the people who were on IDB programme are doin well,why is it that they are failing to make such contribution to the benefit of other needy muslims?Remember you signed an agreement to be doin so,and if you wont honor the agreement,the wrath of Allah awaits.

  2. Those who benefited contribute to the poor so that they also get education.Mabwana alipo ambiri anapindula ndi IDB ,So please!

  3. it is true.the idb terms that we sign for inorder to get the scholarship state clearly that we have to pay back the money by contributing to a charity organisation that is istablished in the respective country, and if there isnt one, atleast to any organisation representing muslims in that country.
    in Malawi there is izf, muslim association etc.
    however, the problem is that MAM has always been responsible in monotoring the idb scholarship, but has never thought of forming the account where everyone has to deposit the money.rather they leave it up to the former students themselves.i mean before the student flies out, tell him how he shall pay the money back so that when he comes, his first salary should get accustomed to paying back the loan.a person who starts working and assumes responponsibility of his families and relatives will be relactant to pay back the money unless if he starts paying with his very first salary for it will be part of his you know how much an idb student gets per month?it's 340 Dollars plus 800 dollars for book and clothing allowance.this translates to 4,880 dollars per anum and university fees is 2000 dollars making it 6880.the malawi kwacha equivalent is Mk1,720,000 per anum tell those brothers who are about to go to fear Allah and know that according to the current situation they will be paying back an equivalent MK1,720,000 per anum when they come back.if one decides to pay gradually over the years, he can be assured that he will pay it back the rest of his life.the profet(RSAW) said that: "Nafsil Muumin muallakatun bi dainihi".the soul of a believer hungs/pends on his if a former idb student dies, firstly ask how much he owed the muslim community.and if there is any balance, help to pay it back so he can enter paradise.
    Wassalam alaikum warahmatullah. 

  4. So how about coming up with something for them to work on once they’re back so that they can pay back then after the cost is covered,they can start smething on their own
    I think this can both benefit the ‘trust’ n the nation at large coz most of them fly back abroad for work

  5. First of all thoz that benefited 4rom ths programme must look bek and see where they are coming 4rom, wat they had and wat they got now.Had it bn that there wasnt no 1 who considered there poverty to help them i blv some of them they wudnt bn where they are now, al i can plea 2 them is that they must dg down their bludy pockets/acounts to pay bek the agrd money 2 MAM so that, thoz that are in needy 4 busariez must benefit aswel in so doing u wl see that islam in malawi wl move 4ward hence education amongest muslms is bng provided thru the same programe.

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