Halal industry: Profit-making idea offering opportunities
Africa’s large Muslim population presents significant opportunities for manufacturers in the halal industry of food, cosmetics, personal care and pharmaceutical products. Although the word halal is often associated with food, it simply refers to what is permissible in traditional Islamic law and can be applied to any product or service. Global Muslim consumption of the aforementioned product categories is estimated at US$1.26tn a year.
Wesgro helping is helping the halal industry
One organisation eager to tap into the halal industry is Wesgro, the trade and investment agency for South Africa’s Western Cape, which has a sizeable Muslim community. It wants to establish the province as a prominent player in the manufacturing of halal products.
Earlier in the year, Wesgro took five local halal companies on a trade mission to Senegal, which culminated in a number of trade deals. Islam is Senegal’s dominant religion, practised by 92% of its 15 million people. The country serves as a trade hub for the region’s landlocked territories, and has also attracted regional business people due to is the relatively stable commercial environment.
“Our data shows that by maximising our reach into the growing global halal market, Western Cape halal industry businesses could create 32,000 jobs,” commented Alan Winde, the province’s minister of economic opportunities.
What is halal?
The words halal and haram are the usual terms used in the Quran to designate the categories of lawful or allowed and unlawful or forbidden. In the Quran, the root h-l-l denotes lawfulness and may also indicate exiting the ritual state of a pilgrim and entering a profane state. In both these senses, it has an opposite meaning to that conveyed by the root h-r-m (cf. haram and ihram). In a literal sense, the root h-l-l may refer to dissolution (e.g., breaking of an oath) or alighting (e.g., of God’s wrath). Lawfulness is usually indicated in the Quran by means of the verb ahalla (to make lawful), with God as the stated or implied subject.
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