IBBC Advisory Council’s discussion goes public on the white paper ‘Iraq 2020: a country at the crossroads.’

Today over 300 people signed up the IBBC Advisory Council’s public discussion on the white paper – Iraq 2020: a country at the crossroads, sponsored by Iraq Business News ( IBBC media partner)  and in conjunction with Chatham House and IRIS at AUIS.

With a full panel of 6 advisors and commentators, including Ms Maya Gebeily of Agence-France Presse, Mr Ahmed Tabaqchali of IRIS at AUIS, and the key advisory panel members led by Professor Frank Gunter of Leigh University, Dr Renad Mansour, Fellow at Chatham House, Mr Hani Akkawi of CCC and Professor Mohammed Al-Uzri, University of Leicester University. Mr Christophe Michels, MD of IBBC chaired the discussion.

The key points were delivered by Professor Gunter, including, the necessity to provide: 1. Strong cross-party political support to GOI for its initiatives; 2. Transparency to build support and trust among the people and to stop corruption up and down the system. 3. GOI acceptance of the limits of its ability to control and centralise economic activity- and afford to make space for the Private sector.

Dr Mansour made critical points about the importance of the political economy and the requirement to listen and understand the needs of the protestors and conversely the protestors ability and requirements of government to make changes, along with the difficulty in enacting reforms while the public sector has too much invested in its continuation.

Mr Hani Akkawi, made an unmissable point about the opportunity for areas of industry to be returned to the private sectors, such as electricity, water, fertiliser and transport, that would not only raise finance, but help efficiency and productivity.

Underpinning the report are 5 key action points and a further 38 recommendations that the GoI may be able to make to address the economic crisis that faces the country, including; business deregulation, inclusion of the informal business sector into legal acceptance, ending subsidies on electricity and water production, am improved banking system with credit for private sector businesses, an anti-corruption drive and dealing with COVID-19 without jeopardising the private sector.

Please see the full webinar here

Click below to read the full paper:

Iraq 2020: a country at the crossroads – English

Iraq 2020: a country at the crossroads – Arabic

For further information please contact london@webuildiraq.org

WEBINAR PARTNERS:

You are invited
to hear a discussion of the IBBC Advisory Council’s paper on
‘Iraq 2020, a country at the crossroads’

When: Monday 15th June at 2pm UK
Where: Zoom Platform

The paper published for the new Iraqi Government recommends a number of decisive changes to be implemented without delay, in order for Iraq to be able to navigate the rapidly deepening economic crisis she is facing.

This open public forum takes place in partnership with IRIS (Institute of Regional and International Studies) at AUIS (American University of Iraq, Sulaimani) and Chatham House.

Speakers include:

  • Professor Frank Gunter, Lehigh University
  • Dr Renad Mansour, Chatham House
  • Mr Ahmed Tabaqchali, IRIS at AUIS
  • Professor Mohammed Al-Uzri, University of Leicester
  • Mr Abdul Aziz Shwan Ahmed, Iraqi Government
  • Mr Hani Akkawi, CCC

Click below to read the full paper:

Iraq 2020: a country at the crossroads – English

Iraq 2020: a country at the crossroads – Arabic

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

By Renad Mansour, for Foreign Policy. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraq’s New Prime Minister Is Taking Things Slow

After nearly 20 years of political chaos in Baghdad, Mustafa al-Kadhimi is trying incremental reform.

Despite this dire context, the new prime minister is neither a revolutionary who will overhaul the system nor a strongman who will centralize power.

Instead, he is seeking incremental reform, working within the existing system.

His vision is to navigate the impasse between citizens and elites-and the political fragmentation between elites themselves-by striking a new balance between reform and the status quo.

Click here to read the full story (subscription required).

Members of the IBBC Advisory Council have published a paper entitled ‘Iraq 2020: A country at the crossroads‘.

The purpose of this extensive paper is to provide insight and advice to the new Iraqi Government. It particularly focuses on the political and economic backdrop to the country, with analysis and solutions from a private sector perspective.

The papers authors are Professor Frank Gunter (lead author), Prof, Mohammed Al Uzri, Dr Renad Mansour, Mr Hani Akkawi, Mr Hussein Al Uzri, Mr Shwan Aziz Ahmed, and Mr Christophe Michels for the IBBC’s management.

The paper provides a broad view on how to support Iraq’s transition, with a call to action ranging from the requirement to engage the Iraqi people, to solutions for the banking and investment sector, defeating ISIS and responding to COVID and healthcare specific solutions, and how to develop the private sector with a regulatory regime for successful business.

The paper has been sent to the Prime Minister, to the President, the President of Parliament, a number of Ministers and officials.

Christophe Michels, IBBC MD, says:

“Iraq is facing a deepening multifaceted crisis without precedent in recent times. This article has been published in support of the Iraqi Government which has the opportunity to use this crisis to change Iraq and prepare it for a better and more prosperous future”.

Iraq 2020: a country at the crossroads – English

Iraq 2020: a country at the crossroads – Arabic 

For more information please contact london@webuildiraq.org

(Source: Iraq Britain Business Council)

By Dr Renad Mansour for the Royal Institute for International Affairs (Chatham House). Any opinions expressed are those of the author(s), and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Why is it So Hard for Iraq to Form A Government?

Mustafa al-Kadhimi has emerged as the compromise prime minister designate, but his potential appointment is built on shaky foundations.

Click here to read the full story.

By Dr Renad Mansour and Glada Lahn, for the Royal Institute for International Affairs (Chatham House). Any opinions expressed are those of the author(s), and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Same Old Politics Will Not Solve Iraq Water Crisis

Addressing Iraq’s water crisis should be a priority for any incoming prime minister as it is damaging the country’s attempts to rebuild.

But successive governments have allowed the problem to fester.

Click here to read the full story.

By Dr Renad Mansour and Glada Lahn, for the Royal Institute for International Affairs (Chatham House). Any opinions expressed are those of the author(s), and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Same Old Politics Will Not Solve Iraq Water Crisis

Addressing Iraq’s water crisis should be a priority for any incoming prime minister as it is damaging the country’s attempts to rebuild.

But successive governments have allowed the problem to fester.

Click here to read the full story.

From the Royal Institute for International Affairs (Chatham House). Any opinions expressed are those of the author(s), and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Participants:

  • Toby Dodge, Associate Fellow, MENA Programme, Chatham House
  • Mac Skelton, Director, IRIS, American University of Iraq-Sulaimani
  • Ahmed Tabaqchali, Chief Investment Officer, AFC Iraq Fund
  • Hanaa Edwar, Co-founder and Chairperson, Iraqi Al-Amal Association
  • Chair: Renad Mansour, Senior Research Fellow, MENA Programme, Chatham House

The first months of 2020 have proven tumultuous for Iraq. The US killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in January threatened to engulf the region in war and led to continued tit-for-tat violence between the US and Iran that has become almost a daily reality in Baghdad.

Amid the ongoing protests that since last October have challenged the social contract and led to a violent response claiming 600 deaths and injuring tens of thousands, the government is still without a prime minister after Adil abd al-Mehdi’s resignation in November 2019, leaving the country directionless.

Most recently, the spread of COVID-19 threatens to expose a mismanaged healthcare system. At the same time, the rapid fall in the price of oil has impacted the government’s ability to respond to or cope with these crises.

At this virtual roundtable, part of the Chatham House Iraq Initiative, experts explore these developments and try to unpack the implications for Iraq’s fragile peace and stability.

Click here to view the full discussion.

By Dr Renad Mansour, for Chatham House. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

After Latest Turn, is Muqtada al-Sadr Losing Influence in Iraq?

The populist cleric has repositioned himself in Iraqi politics multiple times, but his recent shift against youth-led protestors may signal his decline as an autonomous political force.

Following the US strike on Qassem Solaimani and Abu Mehdi al-Muhandis, populist cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has violently cracked down on youth-led protests in Iraq.

His paramilitaries and ‘blue hats’ – supposedly created to protect protestors from state and allied parastatal security forces – sought to end the months-long demonstrations by attacking the places where protesters have camped since October. In Baghdad’s Tahrir Square, they successfully captured the famous Turkish restaurant which had become a symbol of Iraq’s ‘October revolution’.

Click here to read the full story.