CIPE Update for the Week of August 13-17, 2007
Another chamber of commerce has joined CIPE's International Chamber Internship and Leadership Program and will be hosting an intern this fall. The Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce in Joplin, MO will host Delia Roxana Stef from the Association of Businesswomen and Top Managers in Romania. Other participating chambers are: Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, Binghamton Regional Chamber of Commerce, Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce and Leadership Pikes Peak, Rapid City Chamber of Commerce, Kalamazoo Regional Chamber of Commerce, and the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.
Kenya –Kenyan journalists protested in Nairobi against a media law that would compel them to disclose their sources. According to BBC News, “Hundreds of journalists taped their mouths and carried placards asking President Mwai Kibaki to reject [the bill].” In response, CIPE partner the Inter Region Economic Network (IREN) featured an article addressing this issue, titled “Press Freedom is Key to Economic Growth.” The article states, “Openness has always been a path to development in contrast to isolation that breeds stagnation…. Shielding the country from information adversely affects its growth.” CIPE supports IREN’s annual journalist training workshop and weekly online magazine The African Executive, which features articles and letters to the editor on democratic and market-oriented reform issues. . Full article at http://www.africanexecutive.com/modules/magazine/articles.php?article=2483&magazine=136.
Nigeria – CIPE partner the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) met with staff of the National Assembly this week to finalize plans for monitoring proceedings on the floor of the Assembly. With CIPE support, NACCIMA is representing Nigeria’s private sector on laws currently under review. NACCIMA representatives are attending debates on the National Assembly floor and legislative committee meetings as well as making presentations during public hearings. By monitoring the legislative process, NACCIMA is keeping the business community informed of relevant bills under review in the National Assembly and advocating to the legislature on behalf of the private sector for policy improvements. Members of the Senate are scheduled to attend NACCIMA’s capacity building workshop in September which aims to foster good relations between legislators and the private sector.
Ethiopia – The Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations (AACCSA) broadcast two radio shows this week through its CIPE-sponsored Voice of the Addis Chamber radio program. The programs featured a legal expert discussing the rights of citizens outlined in the Ethiopian constitution, an educational program on customer service, an update on the activities of the Ethiopian Women Exporters Association, and a business success story interview with a successful trader.
Philippines-- The Institute for Solidarity in Asia (ISA) spent this week making the final arrangements for the Mahal Ko ang Pilipinas (MKAP - "I love the Philippines") Conference on August 29-30, 2007 in Manila. This conference will celebrate another milestone in ISA's journey toward building a national community of responsible citizens and politicians who truly love their country. CIPE Senior Program Officer John Callebaut and Knowledge Management Officer Kim Bettcher will be attending this conference.
Indonesia-- Indonesia Business Links (IBL) spent this week making arrangements for a roundtable discussion on corruption to be held the first week of September with donor organizations in which the "Code of Conduct for SMEs" program will be launched. Callebaut and Bettcher will participate. IBL plans to use this meeting to strengthen its network of donor agencies and other like-minded organizations.
Afghanistan – The Afghan Women’s Business Federation is partnering with the Export Promotion Agency of Afghanistan to organize the Afghanistan International Carpet Fair to take place August 26-28. The carpet fair will be the largest event held by the Afghanistan government and the private sector since the reorganization of the Afghan government in 2002.
Afghanistan – The Afghan Women’s Business Federation was invited to participate in the Women’s Entrepreneur Trade Expo 2007 in Dhaka, Bangladesh from September 29 – October 5. The invitation came from the Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry, another CIPE partner that visited Kabul earlier this year to exchange ideas and tools with the Afghan Women's Business Federation. This type of linkage between two CIPE partners is encouraging international networking among women's organizations worldwide.
Afghanistan – The Afghan Women’s Business Federation is preparing the Pashto version of their business classes, which will begin in Nangharhar province soon after the opening of AWBF’s branch office there on August 22. The training center has been offering courses in business development over the last year to women in and outside of Kabul in Dari and English.
Afghanistan – The Afghan Women's Business Federation's Trade Development Center Director Latifa Abasy, Afghan Women Design Center Marketing Manager Lima Ahmad, and Training Manager Palwasha Salehy traveled to New York this week to attend the Market Readiness Program organized by Aid to Artisans in coordination with the New York International Gift Fair. Ms. Abasy and CIPE will meet with Megerian Rugs and Saxony Carpets to discuss further carpet sales under the AfghanMark program. Additionally, Ms. Ahmad will attend the gift fair to make contacts and display handicrafts made by members of the organization in order to increase international trading opportunities for Afghan women.
Bangladesh - The Bangladesh Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry held two advocacy meeting focused on capacity building and training for women's small and medium enterprises. BWCCI met with Dr. Yamin Akbari, Deputy Secretary to the Ministry of Industry, and Ms. Sonia Sharif from the Bangladesh Institute of Management on August 12 and 13 to pave the way for SME training sessions, to be held in and around Dhaka in 2008.
Pakistan – CIPE held a meeting with representatives of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Pakistan and the Pakistan Institute of Corporate Governance to discuss the way forward in the development of a Corporate Governance Guide for the non-listed sector.
Pakistan – CIPE small grant partner the Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry reports that since the beginning of their Women Entrepreneurship Development Initiative in July, women's chamber membership has increased from seven to sixty seven. This success has led to interest in developing a training workshop for women entrepreneurs in the North West Frontier Province.
Romania - The Advisory Board of the IMOR (Regional Institute for Organization Management) revised the draft bylaws of the Foundation to be set up in Romania by CIPE. Their comments and suggestions are based on an extensive experience in working with Romanian NGOs, and are to be incorporated in the bylaws.
Romania - CIPE Romania continues to build awareness in Serbia, Kosovo and Bosnia Herzegovina regarding the regional project that is currently implemented from Bucharest. The response so far includes seven organizations from Kosovo, five from Bosnia-Herzegovina and four from Serbia. The goal of the project is to strengthen Balkan business support organization’s professional standards, organizational capacities and advocacy techniques, and to prepare them for effectively participating in the policymaking process.
Belarus - On August 15, CIPE partner organization the Minsk Union of Entrepreneurs and Employers (MUEE) presented their National Business Platform recommendations to the members of the Deputy Prime Minister's working group on simplification of administrative procedures and regulations. In addition, MUEE organized two workshops with individual entrepreneurs at the markets of Logojsk region and Zapadny market in Minsk in order to unite the efforts for reform of individual entrepreneurs with the efforts of small- and medium-sized enterprises in Belarus. Within this theme, on August 10, MUEE organized a workshop in Vitebsk for 289 individual entrepreneurs and SME owners.
Kyrgyzstan - CIPE partner Institute for Public Policy (IPP) created two interactive training modules for its upcoming Economic Journalism School covering the fundamentals of free market economics, including best ways to report on social-economic conflicts. These lessons will educate journalists on how to identify general types of political and economic models and their advantages and disadvantages.
Chile--the Center for Corporate Governance organized a seminar about "The Importance of Corporate Governance for the Development of Capital Markets". The event was attended by over 90 people including Senators, Congressmen, the Superintendent of Banks and other authorities. The speakers at the event included: Sergio Undurraga, President of the Center for Corporate Governance; Andrés Velasco, Minister of Finance; Alexander F. Cohen, Deputy General Counsel for Legal Policy and Administrative Practice, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission; and two Chilean Congressmen, Rodrigo Alvarez and Jorge Burgos.
Ecuador--the Foundation for Development Alternatives conducted a workshop in the city of Portoviejo-Manta with 38 leaders from the Province of Manabí who are members of the Alianza Equidad (Equity Alliance). The workshop included local business leaders who examined national points of consensus regarding gas and electricity subsidies. The aim of the event was to construct a methodology from which to examine reforms in this area and to provide a platform from which sound recommendations can be made to the national constitutional assembly.
The Ecuadoran Institute for Economy and Politics (IEEP) conducted its television program, Tribuna Liberal, on the topic "Tax Reforms Needed in Ecuador," featuring Mario Vásconez, a national tax expert. The show presented a wide range of topics including simplification of tax laws that would allow microenterprises to become formalized. IEEP's weekly radio program, Contrapunto Liberal, featured the topic: "Press and Democracy in Latin America," featuring Fernando Ruiz, a research analyst from the Center for Latin American Development (CADAL) in Argentina. IEEP secured Mr. Ruiz interviews on other major television and radio shows during his visit. The director of IEEP, Dora de Ampuero, was also featured on several radio programs during the week speaking on the benefits of dollarization and the future of economic reform in the face of the upcoming national constitutional assembly.
MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA
Iraq - On August 14-15, the Iraqi Businessmen Union (IBMU) held a workshop titled "Bids and Procurements Management" in Baghdad. The workshop was attended by more than 21 IBMU members, business people, bankers, and civil society representatives. It was conducted by Dr. Ahmed Nazar of Baghdad University and was covered by Al Etihad newspaper and Al Iraqia net.
Iraq - On Aug 11-17, the Council for Legal Defense Care (CLDC) held a workshop entitled "Economic Effects of Public Expenses on the Public Budget" in Baghdad. The workshop was attended by about 20 participants representing civil society groups and the Iraqi National Government. The main speakers were Dr. Mahmoud Al Mamouri, Dr. Ahmed Al Khafaji, and Mr. Qais Abdul Rasool of Baghdad University. The workshop stressed on the importance of budgeting and strategic planning since many government offices lack a clear strategy.
Iraq - On July 30-August 1, CIPE held a workshop for business associations and chambers of commerce executives and board members in Sulaymania. The three-day workshop focused on association governance, membership development, non-dues income, public relations, public policy advocacy, and strategic planning. Over 36 participants attended, most of whom are CIPE partners representing associations from Baghdad, Samawa, Duhuk, Erbil, Sulaymania, Kirkuk, and the Anbar region. The workshop was conducted by various professional trainers from the International Negotiation Institute (INI), including Dr. Sa'ib Al Gelani, Dr. Darman Soliman, Dr. Ahlam Weli, Dr. Khalid Hamed Amin, and Mrs Khaida Jaafer. In addition to the theoretical perspective of the workshop, the participants were able to benefit from group sessions, working together to develop mission statements, vision statements, and objectives for their organizations. The event was featured on several Kurdish satellite channels.