Senegal still needs to adjust its policies to be able to sell debt that complies with Islam's ban on interest after postponing a plan last year to sell such bonds, said Mouhamadou Lamine Mbacke, managing director of the African Institute of Islamic Finance, a Dakar-based company that advises governments and financial institutions and is working with the authorities on the rule changes. About 95 percent of the nation's population of 12.7 million is Muslim.
South Africa and Nigeria, the continent's largest economies, are among nations looking to Islamic finance to raise money for development and both have rules in place to sell the debt. In the eight-nation West African currency union, Senegal stands out for relative stability after electing a new president last year and the need to finance everything from energy to infrastructure and agriculture, according to Mbacke.
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