By John Lee.

France has proposed the opening of a branch of the French Development Agency (Agence française de développement, AFD) in Baghdad.

The idea was discussed at a meeting between the Head of Iraq’s Europe Department, Ali Shamran, and Abdel Nour Barhami, the economic advisor at the French embassy in Baghdad.

(Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

The post French Development Agency may open office in Baghdad first appeared on Iraq Business News.

By Adnan Abu Zeed for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraqi Government steps up Fight Against Corruption

The arrest of six senior officials on corruption charges shows that serious steps are taken in the fight against corruption, amid calls that the government speeds up its reform program.

Click here to read the full story.

The post Iraqi Govt steps up Fight Against Corruption first appeared on Iraq Business News.

By Michael Knights, for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Any opinions expressed are those of the author(s), and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Kadhimi’s Rolling Reshuffle (Part 2): Protecting Iraq’s Economic Institutions and Borders

On September 14, Baghdad announced a range of strategic leadership appointments for institutions tasked with overseeing Iraq’s economy, borders, and anti-corruption efforts-a list that includes banks, customs authorities, airports, seaports, land crossings, municipal bodies, investigative committees, and more.

The ambitious scope of the appointments and the centralized manner in which they were made says a great deal about Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi’s commitment to changing the corrosive status quo in Baghdad.

The question now is whether his government can withstand the coming pushback from militia and political elements who benefit from that status quo. The following is a digest of the new technocratic appointments and their implications; see Part 1 of this PolicyWatch for a discussion of Kadhimi’s recent military reshuffling.

Click here to read the full article, which includes details of the new appointments.

The post Details of PM’s New Appointments to Key Institutions first appeared on Iraq Business News.

By Michael Knights, for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Any opinions expressed are those of the author(s), and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Kadhimi’s Rolling Reshuffle (Part 2): Protecting Iraq’s Economic Institutions and Borders

On September 14, Baghdad announced a range of strategic leadership appointments for institutions tasked with overseeing Iraq’s economy, borders, and anti-corruption efforts-a list that includes banks, customs authorities, airports, seaports, land crossings, municipal bodies, investigative committees, and more.

The ambitious scope of the appointments and the centralized manner in which they were made says a great deal about Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi’s commitment to changing the corrosive status quo in Baghdad.

The question now is whether his government can withstand the coming pushback from militia and political elements who benefit from that status quo. The following is a digest of the new technocratic appointments and their implications; see Part 1 of this PolicyWatch for a discussion of Kadhimi’s recent military reshuffling.

Click here to read the full article, which includes details of the new appointments.

The post Details of PM’s New Appointments to Key Institutions first appeared on Iraq Business News.

By Ali Al-Mawlawi, for the Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI). Any opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Economic Reform in Iraq: The Need for Focus and Persistence

Iraq is facing the biggest challenge to its economy since 2003.

Even during the vicious and costly conflict with ISIS, when oil prices plummeted and the government struggled to finance the war, the economic shock did not appear to be as insurmountable as it does today.

The COVID-19 epidemic in Iraq has shown no signs of abating and the IMF predicts that Iraq’s economy will contract by 4.7% in 2020.

The most immediate challenge for the government is finding enough money to cover the country’s basic running costs including schools, hospitals, public salaries and social welfare.

Click here to read the full article.

The post Economic Reform: The Need for Focus and Persistence first appeared on Iraq Business News.

Women’s participation critical to ending corruption in Iraq: New forum launches today

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Iraq has launched Iraq’s first-ever anti-corruption forum for women, highlighting the integral role women play in combating corruption in the country.

The Women Against Corruption forum brings together 35 academics and activist Iraqi women from the government, civil society and the private sector across the country to elevate the participation of women in anti-corruption measures for the socio-economic development of Iraq.

As part of its commitment to achieving gender equality under Agenda2030, UNDP supported the establishment of the forum, providing group members with technical support to identify ways to engage young women in the fight against corruption, and develop an awareness-raising campaigns targeting the general population.

The forum takes a grassroots approach, placing community at its core and actively involving individuals – men and women – in the process of fighting corruption.

“In Iraq, most anti-corruption measures focus on governmental institutions, while the role of the community, civil society and the private sector remain secondary. If the country is to succeed in its fight against corruption, it should invest in the community as a whole,” says Resident Representative of UNDP Iraq, Zena Ali Ahmad.

“Corruption exacerbates gender inequalities. As primary caretakers of their households and communities, women experience corruption in their everyday lives. Understanding corruption at a grassroots level, from the perspective of women, and highlighting their critical role in addressing misuse of power is central to preventing and reducing corruption in Iraq,” she adds.

Prior to the forum’s launch, members undertook research that revealed the most prevalent forms of corruption in Iraq from the perspective of women. The research also revealed that the most common obstacles preventing women from reporting corruption included a lack of confidence in the party receiving the reports, and a fear of reprisals from the reporting agency.

(Source: UN)

The post Women critical to Ending Corruption in Iraq first appeared on Iraq Business News.

By John Lee.

French President Emmanuel Macron has reportedly discussed cooperation on a nuclear energy project with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi.

More here.

(Source: Reuters)

The post Macron, Kadhimi “discuss Nuclear Energy Project” first appeared on Iraq Business News.

By John Lee.

The Iraqi Cabinet held its weekly meeting on Tuesday under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi.

Following discussions, the Cabinet decided to designate 3rd October every year as Iraq’s National Day, to celebrate and mark the independence of Iraq and the end of the British mandate on 3rd October, 1932.

It also directed the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers to prepare a draft Iraq National Day Law, separate from the laws governing public holidays in Iraq, and to submit the draft law to the Council of Representatives.

(Source: Govt of Iraq)

The post Cabinet Announces (Another) Public Holiday first appeared on Iraq Business News.

KAPITA launches the first Iraqi dedicated Angel Network

The Iraqi entrepreneurship ecosystem receives a major boost with the launch of the first Iraqi angel investors network

KAPITA is launching Iraq’s first Angel Investor Network – IAIN ( https://iraqangels.net/ ) that is dedicated to connecting startups with angel investors in order to develop the Iraqi entrepreneurship ecosystem. The network is sponsored by the German Government through GIZ (German Agency for International Cooperation).

The network is the first attempt at an institutionalized investment vehicle for Iraqi startups. It helps founders access the knowledge, experience and connections they require, along with funding to scale and grow their business. The network is also technically supported by the World Bank.

It has some of the most prominent Iraqi angel investors including Shwan Taha and Mohammed Khudairi; both of whom have recently invested in the leading e-commerce platform in Iraq – Miswag. The network also includes Yazen Abu Galal, Amar Shubar and Ahmed Tabaqchali, in addition to a group of distinguished Iraqi entrepreneurs and leading businessmen.

Mujahid Waisi, the CEO and founder of KAPITA has played a key role in shaping up the ecosystem of Iraq. He commented:

“The Iraqi ecosystem has grown and expanded rapidly over the past few years, Kapita aims to support startups along their journey from incubation to funding.”

Ali Al Suhail, the Fund Manager at the Network and who has recently completed his MBA at London Business School added:

“Access to finance remains one of the key issues facing Iraqi entrepreneurs, the network will provide startups with an institutionalized path to access capital for all Iraqi entrepreneurs”.

Active investors in the Iraqi Angel Investors Network:

  • Shwan Ibrahim Taha, Chairman of Rabee Securities
  • Mohammed Khudairi, Managing Partner of Khudairi Group
  • Yazen Abu Gulal, Managing Partner at YAG Capital
  • Dr. Alaa J Mousa, CEO of EarthLink Telecommunications
  • Jaafar Al Musawi, CEO of Atlas Plast
  • Mohamed Al-Hakim, General Manager of Careem in Iraq and Jordan
  • Bahaaddin Salim, Co-founder and CEO of NASS Al-Iraq Holding
  • Hasan Al-Yassen, CEO of Baghdad Gate Services
  • Ali Tariq, Executive Director at Iraqi Private Banks League
  • Nour Sabri, Associate Partner at IBM
  • Omar Al-Handal, Asset Management Executive at Al-Handal International Group
  • Hadi Al-Haidari, CEO of Rawnaq Aldur Company
  • Ali Beyatli, Owner of Green Hills
  • Amar Shubar, Partner at Management Partner
  • Ahmed Tabaqchali, Economic Expert
  • Samer Abed, Managing Director at PetrolLog Technologies
  • Halat Aziz,
  • Rawaz Raouf, Commercial and Regulatory Advisor at Fanoos Telecom
  • Zaid Fadhel, Founder of Iraqi Cinema
  • Mohammed Shaikley, Senior Director of Investments and M&A at AMEA Power
  • Ammar Al Sharifi, Managing Director ALTAYM General Trading Ltd.

About Kapita

Kapita is a private sector development company that aims to empower small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through investment, research, incubation/acceleration, and market development programs. It has recently announced the graduation of 20 startups from its incubation program “Orange Corners Baghdad” in collaboration with the Netherland government and is currently accepting applications for the next edition of the program. Kapita is also running an accelerator program in partnership with GIZ and AsiaCell that focuses on scaling and growing existing startups.

For more information visit, http://www.kapita.iq/

(Source: Kapita)

The post KAPITA launches Iraqi Angel Investor Network first appeared on Iraq Business News.

IBBC and AMAR to hold Iraqi CSR panel with major companies on 3rd September.

‘HOW COMPANIES AND COMMUNITIES CAN ALL BENEFIT FROM CSR PROGRAMMES, WITH REFERENCE TO AMAR FOUNDATION’S WORK.’

The Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC), its YEN (Young Executive Network) and AMAR Foundation, are holding an online panel to discuss CSR — Corporate Social Responsibility — in Iraq, with particular reference to the work of the AMAR Foundation, and the investment in CSR from some of the region’s most successful companies.

CSR is an established concept in the UK where companies include their activities in annual reports, and accounting practices. IBBC is keen to demonstrate that this is an activity that all businesses can aspire to and especially to encourage Iraqi companies to engage with CSR activity to support their local communities, workers, and society in general. At a time when Government budgets are tight, the private sector can provide leadership and resources to civic society in the form of expertise, volunteers, training, and direct investment.

Mr Zaid Elyaseri, country manager for Iraq, BP, will be discussing the work and projects BP are investing in in Iraq, and their attitude to CSR. Christina El Khoury, enterprise director for development at Mastercard is explaining the importance of Financial inclusion and Mastercard’s donation options, and Peter Turner, Senior Vice president of SKA will present how SKA provides expertise and support as an SME, Baroness Nicholson, president of IBBC will be speaking of her work with the AMAR Foundation.

To register for this online discussion please access this link:

https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_R4DP5suqQFSreD6ckiC79Q

For more information please contact london@webuildiraq.org.

The post IBBC and AMAR to hold Iraqi CSR Panel first appeared on Iraq Business News.