Monthly Report, May 2011

HIGHLIGHTS

Washington, DC – The electronic version of CIPE’s 2010 Annual Report was released on May 12, 2011.  View the Annual Report at http://cipe.advomation.com/ar/2010/.

Egypt – CIPE Executive Director John D. Sullivan appeared in a feature interview on May 11, 2011, on the Egyptian satellite television station Al Hayat primetime news program, Al Hayat Al Youm. Sullivan discussed the challenges facing Egypt in its transition and the institutions necessary for democracy to deliver for all Egyptians. Seen nationally, the show is one of the most popular news and interview programs in Egypt.

Washington, DC – On May 5, 2011, CIPE Knowledge Management Officer Kim Bettcher presented CIPE’s experience in knowledge management and evaluation at USAID’s “unConference,” as part of the Knowledge Management Impact Challenge. CIPE’s case story on effectiveness of knowledge management in democracy assistance was a finalist in the USAID Impact Challenge. Participants in the event explored the contributions of knowledge sharing to development and methods for assessing what works. Read Kim Bettcher’s study online: http://kdid.org/kmic/knowledge-sharing-democracy-assistance.

Washington, DC – On the CIPE Development Blog, CIPE Eastern Europe and Eurasia Regional Director Andrew Wilson analyzes a recently released OECD report on state-owned enterprises and competitive business environments (www.cipe.org/blog/?p=8408); Global Program Coordinator Oscar Abello argues that human agency is a prerequisite for using ICT tools to catalyze development and reform (www.cipe.org/blog/?p=8412); and Middle East and North Africa Program Assistant Dorothy Smith shares a video on what prominent Egyptians have to say about the need for institutions that support transparency and accountability in Egypt (www.cipe.org/blog/?p=8427).

Egypt – CIPE partner the Federation of Economic Development Associations (FEDA) held a town-hall-style meeting on May 15 in Cairo for 150 street vendors from Beni Suef to solicit feedback on a FEDA-developed draft law governing street vendors. Currently, Egyptian vendor licensing and regulation is opaque and complex, posing a significant barrier to entry to the formal economy and opening opportunities for harassment and extortion of licensed and unlicensed vendors alike on the part of the Egyptian authorities. With significant input from the vendors themselves at meetings like this one, FEDA has compiled the new draft law in hopes of simplifying and clarifying regulations and bringing these informal entrepreneurs into the formal economy. CIPE MENA Senior Program Officer Greg Simpson was on hand to observe the healthy debate that took place on the various tenets of the draft law.

GLOBAL/COMMUNICATIONS
CIPE released and distributed the following publications:

  • CIPE published the Economic Reform Feature Service article, “Empowering Women Entrepreneurs: The Impact of the 2006 Trade Organizations Ordinance in Pakistan” by CIPE Global Program Office Anna Nadgrodkiewicz. This article discusses the significance and results of the 2006 Trade Organizations Ordinance, which allows women to form their own chambers of commerce and mandates that at least two women sit on the boards of directors in all of Pakistan’s regional chambers. Read the article online at www.cipe.org/featureservice/?p=617.
  • CIPE’s 2010 Annual Report was released and shared with over 18,000 CIPE partners and friends around the world. View the Annual Report at http://cipe.advomation.com/ar/2010/.
  • The latest issue of Democracy in Action highlights CIPE partners around the globe. Stories include a description of CIPE’s approach to women’s empowerment, how CIPE’s new website KnowHow.org connects women’s business associations with experts from other countries, and the Afghan National Assembly economic legislation training program, targeted at female elected officials. This bi-monthly publication captures stories from the field and illustrates the power of local action for reform. Read the newsletter online (http://www.cipe.org/democracyInAction/051611/index.html) or email communications@cipe.org to join the mailing list.
  • In the Economic Reform Feature Service article titled “A Decade of Change in the Global Fight Against Corruption,” Michael Hershman details the last decade in the global fight against corruption and how a school for anti-corruption professionals will capture best practices in the field. Read the article in full here: http://www.cipe.org/featureservice/?p=629.
  • CIPE’s monthly women’s update highlights women’s empowerment programs worldwide.  The latest version includes stories on women’s business associations, the Pakistan Trade Organizations Ordinance reform that allowed women to form chambers of commerce, and more information on CIPE’s upcoming international conference, Democracy that Delivers for Women. Read the report at http://www.cipe.org/women/May2011.htm.
  • The CIPE Global Update, sent out monthly, highlights new publications and upcoming events.  In May, the update took a closer look at the Democracy that Delivers for Women conference, described CIPE’s newest Economic Reform Feature Service articles, linked to key blogs, and focused on CIPE’s South Asia programs.  Read the whole update at http://www.cipe.org/newsletter/may2011.html.

Washington, DC – CIPE Director for Policy Reform Aleksandr Shkolnikov spoke at the Association of Americans for Civic Responsibility’s 8th annual conference. The topic of this year’s event was “9/11 Ten Years Later: Remembrance, Reflections, Resilience” and Shkolnikov spoke on “Private Sector, Public Interest: Roles and Responsibilities of Corporate America in the Post 9/11 World” panel highlighting CIPE programs and approaches.

Washington, DC – CIPE Deputy Director Jean Rogers contributed to the conversation in advance of President Obama’s next speech on the Middle East – featured on the National Endowment for Democracy’s Democracy Digest at http://www.demdigest.net/blog/2011/05/give-disenfranchised-a-stake-in-nurturing-arab-democracy/.

AFRICA

Ethiopia – CIPE’s Regional Director, Abdulwahab Alkebsi, held a series of meetings in Addis Ababa to review CIPE’s current program to empower 47 business associations to advocate for policy and regulatory reforms in five regions across Ethiopia. Mr. Alkebsi met with the Chambers of Commerce and Sectoral Associations of Amhara, Dire Dawa, Addis Ababa, and Ethiopia, and the Voluntary Steering Committee that provides oversight and programmatic recommendations to CIPE’s program. Additional meetings were held with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the United States Agency for International Development to brief representatives on current public-private dialogue activities and association capacity-building programs.

Kenya – CIPE partner the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) recently opened its fifth regional office – the Athi River Chapter – which comprises manufacturers located within and on the outskirts of Athi River area, bringing the total number of KAM regional offices to five. CIPE is supporting KAM to build coalitions of private sector businesses, associations, and civil society organizations in Athi River and Thika regions to complement their ongoing work of advocating for regulatory and policy reforms in Eldoret, Kisumu, Mombasa, and Nakuru.

Pittsburgh, PA – CIPE’s Executive Director, John D. Sullivan, taught a seminar at the University of Pittsburgh’s Johnson Leadership Institute for a group of visiting Nigerian business people and customs officials. Sullivan’s presentation was on “Business Ethics and Corporate Governance,” with a special focus on fighting corruption in the customs administration.

Washington, DC – CIPE hosted Mr. Emeka Okereke from CIPE partner the Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ECCIMA), Nigeria, and CIPE consultant in Ethiopia Mr. Hailemelekot Asfaw of Precise Consult Inc., for a brownbag session to discuss their experiences with this year’s African Association Study Mission. Held by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), the Study Mission brought together 12 association managers from across Africa to improve their management skills and to network with other African and American association executives. Mr. Okereke and Mr. Asfaw, who were hosted by CIPE to attend the Study Mission, also discussed how they plan to apply the lessons learned to their programs and associations in their home countries. 

ASIA

China – CIPE Program Officer John Morrell and Assistant Program Officer Catherine Tai visited China and Hong Kong in May to meet with current and prospective partners. These organizations work on issues ranging from rural farmers’ property rights to women’s entrepreneurship.

Indonesia – Indonesia Business Links (IBL) was invited to a talk show on corporate social responsibility to discuss Codes of Conduct. The talk show aired on May 18 on SMART FM. The radio station has coverage in ten large cities, including Jakarta, Surabaya, Semarang, Medan, Palembang, Pekanbaru, and Makasar. Yanti Koestoer, the Executive Director of IBL, shared IBL’s experience with conducting Code of Conduct workshops and lessons learned from participants. Pidekso Satrio, a representative from an SME in Bali, provided examples of how to implement a Code of Conduct for SMEs.

Thailand – The Thai Institute of Directors (IOD), with whom CIPE is partnering on a private sector anti-corruption initiative, was contacted in May by the Ministry of Finance. The Ministry, which is leading the government’s anti-corruption reform efforts, agreed to send senior officials to workshops organized by IOD at which they will learn more technical details of IOD’s collective action campaign. The Ministry intends to highlight IOD’s program at APEC meetings later this year. This IOD-CIPE partnership also continues to attract significant media coverage, as articles appeared in the leading Thai and English newspapers over the past week.

CENTRAL & EASTERN EUROPE

Moldova – On May 26, 2011, the working group that is monitoring adoption and implementation of the proposals in the 2010 National Business Agenda (NBA) met to discuss the status of four key recommendations related to customs reform. Concerns include the arbitrary reduction by customs officials of the eight-day limit for transit of goods through Moldova, and unclear procedures for freight traffic in the Transnistria region. The eight business association representatives on the working group agreed that the government had made progress in addressing some of the recommendations, but that the network supporting the NBA should continue advocacy to bring about additional policy changes.

Ukraine – Kyiv office head Nataliya Balandina discussed CIPE’s mission and programs in Ukraine with the leaders of the Sumy Union of Entrepreneurs, Landlords, and Property Owners. Balandina also took part in a discussion with the group on a proposed national project to provide legal support for entrepreneurs living in areas without business associations. The 1,200-member Sumy Union is headed by Svetlana Ichenskaya, a participant in CIPE’s ongoing seminar series designed to boost the capacity of Ukrainian business associations.

EURASIA

Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan – Regional Director Andrew Wilson and Program Officer Elena Suhir traveled to Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. In Kyrgyzstan they attended the Fourth Annual Forum of the National Alliance of Business Associations, which was co-sponsored by CIPE and the Bishkek Business Club (BBC). They also met with business associations and other partner NGOs from Bishkek and Osh. In Kazakhstan, they met with the Kazakhstan Institute of Directors, the Kazakhstan Forum of Entrepreneurs, and other organizations.

Russia – CIPE partners at 18 business association coalitions are using new CIPE-issued guidelines to prepare for a federal law that gives the coalitions a voice in the drafting of laws that affect business. The new law, to take effect July 1, is designed to encourage input on draft laws from business associations in a way that would decrease legislative barriers to doing business. The material provided by CIPE’s Moscow office includes step-by-step instructions on how to vet proposed legislation for corruption potential. The guidelines are part of the USAID-funded SME Policy Advocacy project.

Russia – A CIPE partner in the North Caucasus region of Adygea has secured a formal commitment from its regional government to support a USAID-funded project that trains local youth to launch businesses and expand their employment opportunities. Under the agreement, the government will provide access to business-startup credit for young entrepreneurs who complete a CIPE program. CIPE’s partner, the Chamber of Trade and Industry of the Republic of Adygea, signed the agreement as part of a three-year Promoting Entrepreneurship in the North Caucasus project that CIPE is administering with USAID support.

LATIN AMERICA

Argentina – The Center for the Implementation of Policies Promoting Equity and Growth (CIPPEC)’s Agenda for the President 2011-2015 project was featured in two newspaper articles and through a television interview with CIPPEC’s executive director. The article published on May 4 in Diaro Río Negro discusses the barriers of access to justice, the justice systems’ overload, corruption, and potential solutions to these problems. The article is available in Spanish (www.rionegro.com.ar/diario/rn/nota.aspx?idart=615666&idcat=9539&tipo=2). A second article, written by CIPPEC Executive Director Fernando Straface appeared in El Cronista on May 5. In this article, Straface discusses the need for public policy alternatives to be debated, especially in relation to economic policies and government intervention. The article is available in Spanish (www.cronista.com/opinion/Alternativas-para-el-gobierno-20110504-0009.html). Straface was also interviewed by the founder and president of the University of Belgrano, Dr. Avelino Porto, on Porto’s television show, “Universidad Abierta.” The interview, which promotes the Agenda for the President project, can be seen in Spanish (www.ub.edu.ar/universidad_critica).

Colombia – CIPE Regional Director John Zemko attended the first steering committee meeting for a new corporate governance project being carried out by the Confederation of Chambers of Commerce of Colombia (Confecámaras) with funding from the Swiss Government. The project will emphasize improvement of corporate governance in small, medium and family owned enterprises and will be coordinated with CIPE’s corporate governance initiatives aimed at forming a best practices company circle and stronger standards at private equity funds.

Paraguay – On May 11, Fundación Paraguaya and the Paraguayan Ministry of Education signed an agreement to promote entrepreneurship in the Paraguayan public school system. This accord aims to strengthen educational institutions’ capacities, make resources available to improve the quality of training programs in these institutions, and contribute to sustainable development in the schools’ communities.

Venezuela – On May 5, the Center for the Dissemination of Economic Knowledge (CEDICE) hosted a roundtable to analyze the impact of labor policies and the increased minimum wage in Venezuela. Thirty seven business people, embassy representatives, academics, students, and representatives from the National Council of Investments attended this event, which featured two speakers: a representative of the labor commission from FEDECAMARAS (Venezuela’s main chamber of commerce) and an expert on labor policy. Three print publications (Diario Tal Cual, El Mundo Economía y Negocios, and El Nacional) and two television stations (Globovisión and Venevisión) covered the discussions.

 

 

MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA

Algeria – From May 22-24, CIPE Program Officer Pamela Beecroft and Program Assistant Ali Ayadi led a workshop in Algiers for 18 business association members. The workshop sought to build associations’ organizational capacity so as to increase their ability to advance reform in their respective local and national business environments. CIPE Romania Office Director Carmen Stanila and Deputy Director Camelia Bulat facilitated the workshop, and all participants expressed their great appreciation for the training and networking opportunities the event provided.

Egypt – CIPE co-sponsored two roundtables, with Al Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies (ACPSS) and Al Masry Al Youm, to discuss the relationship between political and economic freedoms and the connection between democratic governance and market-oriented reform. The roundtables sought to answer: Why did Egypt’s earlier attempts at market-oriented reform fail to deliver for most Egyptians? What democratic institutions will need to be in place for the majority of Egyptian citizens to share in the country’s economic growth and prosperity? Each roundtable included journalists, academics, political party leaders, youth movement leaders, and business association representatives. CIPE executive director John Sullivan was a featured speaker at each event, and Egypt director Randa Al Zoghbi and MENA senior program officer Greg Simpson also participated.

Iraq – On May 24, CIPE’s Washington-based Iraq Program Coordinator Ahmed Gutan met in Baghdad with current partners to discuss CIPE’s strategy in the country and the impact of CIPE’s projects on democratic and economic reform in Iraq. The National Endowment for Democracy, at CIPE’s invitation, joined in the discussions as well. CIPE’s partners highlighted programs that have led to improved business activity and emphasized that, due to their work with CIPE, policymakers increasingly solicit private sector input when drafting legislation and undertaking reforms. Mr. Gutan and CIPE Iraq local staff also met with new partners to provide technical assistance in managing grants from CIPE, an important step in building their management capacity.

Qatar – CIPE Regional Director for Africa and the Middle East Abdulwahab Alkebsi participated in the conference Enriching the Middle East’s Economic Future from May 9-11. Alkebsi co-chaired a working group on “Democratic Reform in the Middle East,” during which participants discussed how sit-ins and revolutions across the region are expressing the demands of youth and all citizens for dignity. Working group participants reached a consensus that it has become increasingly clear that this dignity can only be gained by obtaining political and economic rights and freedoms.

SOUTH ASIA

Afghanistan – CIPE Country Director Mohammad Nasib attended a business roundtable held at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, organized in honor of Ambassador Marc Grossman, the new Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan. Nasib spoke about the recently-released National Business Agenda (NBA) for Afghanistan, which was well received by the organizers and participants. Copies of the NBA were given to Ambassador Grossman and his team, including U.S. Deputy Ambassador in Kabul Earl Anthony Wayne, Coordinating Director for Development and Economic Affairs Ambassador William Todd, Burnet Rubin, and other high-level Embassy and USAID Mission officials. Representing the Afghan business community were Khan Jan Alokozai, Deputy Chairman of the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Naeem Yassin from the Afghan Builders Association, both of whom served on the NBA advisory committee, who provided their views on the NBA. Ambassador Grossman was particularly interested in the participants’ ideas on regional economic growth and the role that Afghanistan can play in this process. Nasib discussed regional aspects of the NBA, particularly trade facilitation.

Bangladesh – CIPE Pakistan Senior Program Manager Hammad Siddiqui traveled to Dhaka to facilitate a two-day strategic planning session with the board of directors and senior management of CIPE partner the Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BWCCI). Participants drafted a strategic plan that focuses on four key areas: managing growth, income diversification, succession planning, and communications. CIPE will provide BWCCI with feedback on the draft plan before formal consideration by the board.

Pakistan – CIPE Country Director Moin Fudda was in Seoul, South Korea to attend the OECD Asia Network Forum on Corporate Governance for State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs). CIPE, together with the Pakistan Institute of Corporate Governance, is actively involved in assisting the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan and the Ministry of Finance in developing a corporate governance code for SOEs. Attendees included representatives of over 25 Asian countries, and organizations such as the World Bank, IFC and Asian Development Bank.

Pakistan – CIPE Pakistan Program Officer Huzaifa Shabbir Hussain traveled to Peshawar and Islamabad to meet with chambers of commerce that have received CIPE technical assistance grants. The Peshawar Women’s Chamber purchased computer equipment for a resource center and the Islamabad Chamber established an entrepreneurship development center.

Pakistan – CIPE and its partner the Pakistan Software Houses Association held a final seminar in Islamabad on “Entrepreneurship Opportunities for Youth in the IT Sector.” Thirty-five young IT graduates, entrepreneurs, and freelancers attended the seminar, to discuss barriers to entry in the IT sector. The event received media coverage, including http://pakistantimes.net/pt/detail.php?newsId=21492, http://www.brecorder.com/component/news/single/638:news.html?id=1187268, http://www.allvoices.com/news/9031432-opportunities-for-youth-in-it-sector-of-pakistan, and http://ftpapp.app.com.pk/en_/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=138844&Itemid=49.

Pakistan – CIPE Pakistan, in partnership with the International Finance Corporation and the Pakistan Microfinance Network, organized a two-day workshop on corporate governance in microfinance institutions (MFIs). Eighteen board members and senior staff from 14 MFIs attended the workshop, which covered topics including the business case for corporate governance in MFIs, a corporate governance framework, and challenges in implementing corporate governance policies. The event received extensive coverage in the local press, which is available online (www.brecorder.com/component/news/single/631:news.html?id=1184952; www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Business/04-May-2011/Workshop;
www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011%5C05%5C04%5Cstory_4-5-2011_pg10_4; and
epaper.tribune.com.pk/PUBLICATIONS/THEEXPRESSTRIBUNE/TET/2011/05/04/ArticleHtmls/WORKSHOP-Corporate-governance-urged-04052011011051.shtml?Mode=1).

Pakistan – CIPE Senior Program Manager Hammad Siddiqui traveled to Lahore to conduct a leadership training session for 16 members of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The session covered topics on chamber business, governance and ethics, membership development, and member services.

 

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