Monthly Report, November 2011
Pakistan – The Ministry of Finance announced the creation of a taskforce to examine the issue of corporate governance in state owned enterprises (SOEs) and recommend drafting a corporate governance code for such companies. CIPE Pakistan Country Director Moin Fudda has been working with the Ministry to encourage the launch of this taskforce. Fudda will be a member of the taskforce, together with representatives of key SOEs, the Pakistan Institute of Corporate Governance, and the Pakistan Institute of Chartered Accountants.
Washington, DC – CIPE’s Board of Directors met at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to review and approve CIPE’s 2012 strategy. The Board also reviewed new proposals for Yemen and Belarus, accepted organizational financial reports, and approved new governance guidelines for members, which will be available soon on the CIPE website.
Washington, DC – CIPE celebrated the power of entrepreneurship around the world during Global Entrepreneurship Week, a global movement supported by the Kauffman Foundation. From Lebanon to Russia, and Peru to Pakistan, CIPE is working to strengthen the skills and capacity of entrepreneurs to build a better democratic and economic environment for all. You can view an interactive presentation on CIPE’s entrepreneurship events here http://prezi.com/cwxtlqvtxrfx/cipe-and-global-entrepreneurship-week-2011/.
Washington, DC – CIPE also released the latest issue of Democracy in Action, which focuses on the role that entrepreneurs play in democratic development. Read it here: www.cipe.org/democracyInAction/111511/index.html. To learn more about CIPE's entrepreneurship activities around the world visit Community of Young Entrepreneurs website at www.reformsnetwork.org/youth/.
GLOBAL PROGRAMS, COMMUNICATION, AND KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT
CIPE released and distributed the following publications:
- CIPE released the November Global Update, featuring a last call for readers to vote for their favorite cartoon from CIPE’s Global Editorial Cartoon Competition (www.cipe.org/cartoon/vote/index.html), as well as a reminder for youth to submit their essays to CIPE’s International Youth Essay Contest (www.cipe.org/essay/). To read the Global Update in full, visit http://www.cipe.org/newsletter/November2011.html.
- CIPE published the latest Economic Reform Feature Service articles, “Russia and the World: A Comparison of Corporate Governance Practices.” In this article, four Russian corporate governance experts discuss the general trend of corporate governance in Russia; differences between corporate governance in Russia and the West; and which segments of Russia’s private sector are becoming better at implementing good corporate governance practices.http://www.cipe.org/publications/fs/pdf/103111_Russia.pdf
- CIPE released the latest Economic Reform Feature Service article, titled “Women Entrepreneurs: Seizing Opportunities and Making a Difference,” which highlights remarks from the panel on economic empowerment at CIPE’s Democracy that Delivers for Women conference. You can read the article in full here: www.cipe.org/featureservice/?p=682
- CIPE distributed the latest issue of Democracy in Action, featuring stories about CIPE partners who are helping to strengthen democratic electoral systems around the world. Read the issue online at www.cipe.org/democracyInAction/103111/.
Malaysia - On November 2-4, the World Federation of Development Financing Institutions (WFDFI) held the fourth and final meeting in a series of national workshops on responsible corporate citizenship for development financing institutions (DFIs) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The workshop was organized by the Secretariat of WFDFI – the Association of Development Financing Institutions in Asia and the Pacific (ADFIAP). About 20 participants from banks and other financial institutions in Malaysia attended. The event was hosted by the Association of Development Finance Institutions in Malaysia (ADFIM). ADFIM Chairman and CEO of Pebadanan Usahawan Nasional Berhad Malaysia Mr. Dzulkifli Fadzilah delivered opening remarks. The workshop featured discussions on different models of corporate citizenship in DFIs and presentations by Malaysian speakers, including KFC Corporation, Institute of Integrity Malaysia, and Bank Rakyat, as well as ADFIAP corporate citizenship expert Dr. Cesar Saldana. The program also included visits to Proton Holdings Bhd and SME Corporation.
Washington, DC – CIPE’s Knowledge Management department launched the Leading Practices website, a platform for sharing innovative and effective practices in democratic and market reform. By sharing leading practices from past and current partners, CIPE aims to promote benchmarking and the replication of effective ideas. To learn more, visit the website at http://leading-practices.cipe.wikispaces.net/.
Washington, DC – CIPE Deputy Director Jean Rogers moderated a panel, “Matching the Market and the Model: The Business of Independent News Media,” at an event hosted by the Center for International Media Assistance and the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers at the National Endowment for Democracy. During the discussion, panelists explained how ineffective management models pose significant risks to the sustainability of independent news media. The speakers also examined what lessons can be learned from various business models for media around the world.
Nigeria – CIPE partner the Benue Coalition of Business and Professional Associations (BENCOBPA) held a Roundtable on Taxation in Makurdi, Benue State as part of a CIPE-supported project to raise awareness of BENCOBPA and to strengthen the quality and frequency of public-private dialogue in Benue State. Sixty-five participants - representing local government councils, relevant national-level government ministries, and members of the Coalition- attended the workshop, which addressed the impact of taxation on economic growth in Benue State. The Executive Chairman of the Board of Internal Revenue Services provided an overview of the different forms of taxes imposed on businesses, both in Benue State and across Nigeria, while another representative addressed the reasons why citizens may be unwilling to pay taxes and the challenges facing tax authorities. Based on participant recommendations, BENCOBPA issued a communiqué following the workshop outlining ways in which the private and public sectors can work together to improve the issue of taxation in Benue.
Zimbabwe – The Women’s Alliance of Business Associations in Zimbabwe (WABAZ), a newly formed women’s coalition hosted a public launch of the organization. As part of the launch, Dr. Charity Manyeruke, author of a CIPE-commissioned study on women entrepreneurs in Zimbabwe, presented the report, which examines the enabling environment and potential for women’s empowerment in the country. The Minister of Industry and Commerce, the Minister and Permanent Secretary of Regional Integration and Economic Cooperation, members of Parliament, and the Permanent Secretaries from the Ministry of Women Affairs, Gender and Economic Development and the Ministry of SMEs attended. The President of the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce, who organize and support WABAZ – delivered remarks, as did the Chairwoman of WABAZ. The Ministers gave brief presentations and pledge their maximum support for the coalition. The event, which was also attended by top women business executives in the country, was covered by both the print and electronic media. CIPE supports the growth of WABAZ through ZNCC to strengthen the voice of business associations in the country to represent the interests of the private sector in dialogue with the government.
Ethiopia – CIPE’s partner the Admas Common Affairs Consultancy Association held a public-private dialogue forum for 65 participants in Dire Dawa with local government officials to discuss government regulations and services affecting the business community. Representatives from the government included the Deputy City Manager Mr. Emaj Abdella, Head of the Land Development and Administration Mr. Abdulselam Mohammed, and the Senior Advisor to the Mayor Mr. Teshale Delelegn. Private sector representatives included owners of private companies and civil society organizations from nine community townships from around Dire Dawa. As part of an ongoing dialogue between the private sector and government officials in Dire Dawa, the participants discussed the poor quality of infrastructure, high taxation, and poor security. CIPE is supporting Admas Common Affairs Consultancy Association to engage the government in public-private dialogue and to advocate for reforms affecting the private sector.
Philippines – The Institute for Solidarity in Asia (ISA) presented an overview of its Public Governance System (PGS) to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). DTI will adopt the PGS later in November, and is particularly interested in using the PGS to improve public employee personnel performance monitoring. ISA Chairman Dr. Jesus Estanislao is developing a “culture transformation module” that seeks to walk public agencies through a process to fundamentally change organizational mission focus and culture.
China – The Unirule Institute of Economics led a discussion on the quality of medical care in China, and ongoing reform efforts. The keynote speaker was Prof. Zhu Hengpeng, an economics professor at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. His presentation focused on medical care reform, and how such reform efforts by the government lack transparency and public input.
Thailand – The Thai Institute of Directors (IOD) is exploring potential ways for its private sector anti-corruption coalition to monitor the government’s upcoming reconstruction program. In response to devastating floods, the government of Thailand is preparing to spend billions of US$ on infrastructure rehabilitation, much of which will be supported by multilateral and bilateral donors. Concerned that such unprecedented levels of spending could engender unprecedented opportunities for corruption, IOD is exploring ways to inform the Thai citizenry and business community on government activities, to present the government with proposals on spending priorities, and to launch a “transparency pact” initiative for government tenders. IOD is consulting with CIPE staff on how best to proceed.
Kyrgyzstan – The Kyrgyzstan Stock Exchange Press Club (KSEPC) held the first session of the Southern Kyrgyzstan Economic Journalism School on November 2 for 12 journalists from the leading print and television media outlets in southern Kyrgyzstan. During the first day of training, two experts presented on ‘Donor-Funded Organization Assistance to the Kyrgyz Economy’ and ‘Energy in Kyrgyzstan’ to the participating journalists. Throughout the course of the Economic Journalism School, participating journalists will learn about sound economics, entrepreneurship, and governance policy issues in order to strengthen their economic and financial reporting skills.
Kyrgyzstan – The Kyrgyzstan Stock Exchange Press Club (KSEPC) held four lectures November 3-5 as part of its Southern Kyrgyzstan Economic Journalism School. The seminar took place in the southern city of Osh with 19 journalists from print and television media outlets in the south of Kyrgyzstan. Seminars, led by established practitioners in each respective field, included basics of the mineral, agriculture and light industries in Kyrgyzstan and best ways to research, analyze and report on budget issues. Throughout the course of the Economic Journalism School, journalists learned about the fundamentals of market-based economics, entrepreneurship, and governance policy issues in an effort to strengthen their economic and financial reporting skills and provide clear and comprehensive coverage of economic issues in Kyrgyzstan.
Russia – A graduate of a CIPE partner program at the Vladikavkaz Institute of Management on youth entrepreneurship took part in Russia’s annual Global Student Entrepreneur Award competition held in Moscow on October 6. Azamat Gagloev was awarded a certificate recognizing him as an “engine of young business” for launching the StartUp educational center in Vladikavkaz, the plan for which was developed through the program at the Vladikavkaz Institute of Management. Gagloev’s StartUp center prepares high school students for the government exams required to gain admission to Russia’s public universities. Gagloev was one of 30 finalists in Russia’s 2011 Global Student Entrepreneur Award competition. Similar competitions took place in more than a dozen other countries in 2011.
Ukraine – CIPE’s Kyiv office staff organized a one-day workshop in Sevastopol on October 27 for 19 leaders of business associations and chambers of commerce which have organized coalitions to better represent the interests of their SME members. The workshop’s four sessions focused on coalition-building techniques. It was lead by instructors from Kyiv and Moscow, including Natalya Titova, program officer for CIPE Russia. Participants came from the Crimea as well as Sumy, a city where CIPE staff assisted in the formation of a coalition earlier this year. The workshop was part of a NED-funded project in Ukraine to increase the capacity of business associations and improve their ability to work together in coalitions.
SOUTHEAST EUROPE & THE CAUCASUS
Moldova – On November 8, the Institute for Development and Social Initiatives (IDSI) facilitated a meeting of the Coordinating Council that represents the interests of the network of business associations supported by CIPE. Ten representatives from leading business associations participated in the meeting to discuss the final version of the National Business Agenda for 2012-2013 to plan the upcoming NBA conference scheduled for November 22.
Moldova - On October 27, the Institute for Development and Social Initiatives and the Federation of Employers in the Construction Sector “Condrumat” together with business association that are members of the National Business Agenda (NBA) network organized public debates at the newly opened exhibition Real Estate Moldova 2011. The debates focused on the need to reform the public procurement system. The main participants in the debates were representatives of the NBA network, the Ministry of Construction and Regional Development, the Director of the State Procurement Agency, and media.
Serbia – On November 3, Camelia Bulat, CIPE Romania Program Director, visited Belgrade to participate in a project planning workshop organized by CIPE’s partners the Serbian Association of Managers (SAM) and Center for Liberal-Democratic Studies (CLDS). The workshop’s first session focused on experiences in public policy advocacy and how to build the voice of business. The second session was dedicated to developing the implementation strategy for the new CIPE-supported project that will strengthen the voice of the Serbian business community in the public-private dialogue. Seven representatives of SAM, CLDS, and three regional chambers of commerce (from Nis, Valjevo and Pozarevac) attended the event.
Argentina - The Center for the Implementation of Public Policies Promoting Equity and Growth (CIPPEC) continues presenting Agenda for the President post-election. CIPPEC´s Executive Director, Fernando Straface, presented the project to approximately 25 public officials, graduate students and experts in public policy at San Andrés University. CIPPEC´s Senior Researcher also presented the project to 10 senior managers at the Argentine office of the Inter-American Development Bank. During the meeting, participants offered advice on different strategies for continuing the project in 2012.
Bolivia – Approximately 200 people attended Fundación Milenio’s presentation of the results of a research project entitled “The state of state businesses.” This report studied 36 state-owned businesses in Bolivia, and discovered that only one of these businesses is actually making a profit. Earlier that day, Milenio held a press conference about this publication, with 44 members of the media in attendance.
Colombia – Regional Director, John Zemko, participated in a donor group meeting in Bogotá. The meeting, convened by the State Secretariat of Economic Affairs of the Swiss Government, was intended to coordinate efforts to advance strong corporate governance standards in Colombia with CIPE partner the Confederation of Chambers of Commerce (Confecámaras). The meeting was attended by representatives of the Global Corporate Governance Forum and the Colombian Bank for Entrepreneurial Development and International Commerce (BANCOLDEX).
Paraguay – The Paraguayan Foundation has launched a contest called “The Communicator-Entrepreneur” that will coincide with Global Entrepreneurship Week next week. The goal of this contest is to increase awareness about the importance of entrepreneurship by encouraging participants to spread the word about entrepreneurship and the Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Education initiative through interviews, articles, and more. Suggested topics include: SMEs in rural and urban areas, how entrepreneurs have contributed to community development, and about the Paraguayan Foundation’s programs that promote entrepreneurship.
MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA
Egypt – In early November, CIPE Egypt Program Director Randa Al Zoghbi participated in a panel discussion on the role of media in maintaining transparency. The discussion was part of the “Egypt Open Government Conference,” organized by the Ministry of State for Administrative Development and supported by the Commercial Law Development Program, Department of Commerce, and United States Agency for International Development. During her presentation, Al Zoghbi presented a grassroots approach to ensuring citizens’ participation in policymaking and government oversight through civil society organizations and business associations. The panelists discussed the need for a free and professional media and the challenges and opportunities presented by social media.
Egypt – On November 1, CIPE Egypt Program Director Randa Al Zoghbi and Program Officer Seif El Khawanky participated in an International Labor Organization roundtable designed to lay the groundwork for its upcoming Women's Employment and Empowerment Project. During the roundtable, which featured U.S. State Department Bureau of Democracy Rights and Labor Director for International Labor Affairs Mark Mittelhauser and Labor Officer Caitlin Helfrich, 15 representatives from different civil society organizations discussed the project’s proposed focus and the creation of a partnership network among activists and stakeholders. The participants discussed the process of building institutions to provide channels of participation to women.
Lebanon – On November 14-15, the Development for People and Nature Association (DPNA), in partnership with CIPE, held a capacity-building workshop for the steering committee of the Entrance to Enterprise (E2E) Alumni Network. Developed by DPNA and CIPE, E2E is an entrepreneurship and civic education curriculum for Lebanese high school and university students. As a result of the workshop, conducted by CIPE Communications Director Caroline Scullin, the steering committee developed a year-long strategy for sharing knowledge among E2E’s approximately 330 alumni, providing technical assistance to young entrepreneurs interested in establishing businesses, and cultivating a spirit of entrepreneurship among Lebanese youth (www.cipe.org/blog/?p=10019).
India – Regional Director for Eurasia and South Asia Andrew Wilson and South Asia Program Officer Marc Schleifer travelled to New Delhi on a program development trip to discuss with a range of stakeholders the quality of property markets institutions in India. Wilson and Schleifer are holding meetings with a number of think tanks, business organizations, and private sector leaders.
Pakistan – The Ministry of Finance announced the creation of a taskforce to examine the issue of corporate governance in state owned enterprises (SOEs) and recommend drafting a corporate governance code for such companies. CIPE Pakistan Country Director Moin Fudda has been working with the Ministry for over a year to encourage the launch of this taskforce. Fudda will be a member of the taskforce, together with representatives of key SOEs, the Pakistan Institute of Corporate Governance, and the Pakistan Institute of Chartered Accountants.
Pakistan – In recognition of Global Entrepreneurship Week, CIPE Pakistan held a forum in Karachi on entrepreneurship for 40 university students. The students noted the difficult regulatory environment for start-up businesses, the lack of access to finance, law and order issues, and discouragement of entrepreneurial risk as major challenges to starting a business. CIPE also worked with the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry to hold a similar forum for over 80 chamber members, diplomats, young entrepreneurs, and students. Press coverage of the Islamabad event can be found at the following links: www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=77837&Cat=3 and http://tribune.com.pk/story/293111/us-to-help-promote-entrepreneurship/.
Bangladesh – On November 16, the Government of Bangladesh inaugurated a display and sales center for women entrepreneurs in Dhaka. The Bangladesh Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry has long been urging the creation of such a center to help women entrepreneurs market their goods. BWCCI President Selima Ahmad and several board members attended the opening, which was hosted by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
- Democratic Governance
- Access to Information
- Combating Corruption
- Business Association Development
- Corporate Governance
- Legal & Regulatory Reform
- Informal Sector & Property Rights
- Corporate Citizenship (CSR)
- South Asia
- Southeast Europe
- Middle East & North Africa
- Latin America & the Caribbean
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