Genel Chairman, Tony Hayward, to Step Down next year

By John Lee. Fox Business reports that Tony Hayward, the former BP boss, is set to step down next year as chairman of Genel Energy. The company, which he founded in 2011 with financier Nat Rothschild, has become the biggest oil and gas producer in Iraqi Kurdistan. A company spokesman said that no decision has […]

CoolClownFish’s Blog – New Funding Facility for Economic Reform in Kurdistan

<p style=”text-align: center;”><strong><em><span style=”text-decoration: underline;”>A new Funding Facility for Economic Reform is being established to accelerate reforms in the Kurdistan Region</span></em></strong></p>
<p>The <strong>United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)</strong> signed an agreement today in Erbil with the Ministry of Planning of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to establish a new <em>Funding Facility for Economic Reform (FFER)</em>.</p>
<p>FFER will be used to mobilize high-caliber international expertise to support priority initiatives in the KRG’s reform plan.</p>
<p>Minister of Planning, Mr. Ali Sindi, said:</p>
<p style=”padding-left: 30px;”><em>“We are determined to pursue the newly adopted reform agenda; efficient and effective high-level international expertise is one of the important preconditions for the overall success. We appreciate this timely initiative by UNDP and look forward to working together.”</em></p>
<p>UNDP Country Director for Iraq, Mr. Mounir Tabet, said:</p>
<p style=”padding-left: 30px;”><em>“The Kurdistan Region of Iraq has been hard-hit by the economic crisis. The KRG’s new reform plan seeks to reverse this. We are very pleased to launch the FFER as a way of helping the Region economically recover and return to a path of growth.”</em></p>
<p>FFER will mobilize expertise for initiatives aimed at transforming and diversifying the Kurdistan Region’s economy. FFER will work closely with a wide range of national and international partners, including the World Bank.</p>
<p>The Facility will be implemented under the leadership of the KRG’s Ministry of Planning.</p>
<p><em>(Source: UNDP)</em></p>

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New Funding Facility for Economic Reform in Kurdistan

A new Funding Facility for Economic Reform is being established to accelerate reforms in the Kurdistan Region The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) signed an agreement today in Erbil with the Ministry of Planning of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to establish a new Funding Facility for Economic Reform (FFER). FFER will be used to […]

CoolClownFish’s Blog – US sends Additional 600 Troops to Iraq

<p>About 600 American troops will be deployed to Iraq to further enable local security forces as they prepare to retake the key Iraqi city of Mosul from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Wednesday.</p>
<p>In a statement, the secretary said in anticipation of the Mosul fight, the U.S. and Iraqi governments have agreed that additional U.S. and coalition capabilities could help accelerate the campaign at this critical phase.</p>
<p>Carter said he and Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, recommended deployment of the additional troops to President Barack Obama to further enable Iraqi forces, and that the president authorized it with the support and approval of Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.</p>
<p><strong>Gearing Up for Mosul Offensive</strong></p>
<p>The U.S. troops will work in close coordination with the Iraqi government to provide specific capabilities, such as logistics and maintenance support, and train, advise and assist teams for Iraqi security forces and Kurdish peshmerga for the upcoming Mosul operation. Expanded intelligence resources will be used to disrupt ISIL’s terrorist network in Iraq and beyond, Carter said.</p>
<p>“The coalition to defeat ISIL continues to achieve results on the battlefield, and I congratulate Iraqi security forces on their recent progress, including the operation to free Sharqat,” he said. “The coalition will continue to increase the pressure on ISIL in Mosul and wherever it seeks refuge in Iraq.”</p>

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US sends Additional 600 Troops to Iraq

About 600 American troops will be deployed to Iraq to further enable local security forces as they prepare to retake the key Iraqi city of Mosul from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Wednesday. In a statement, the secretary said in anticipation of the Mosul fight, the […]

CoolClownFish’s Blog – Iraqi Woman Wins Human Rights Award

<p>Human rights campaigner and leader of the <strong>Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq (OWFI)</strong>, Yanar Mohammed (55), has been awarded the 2016 <strong>Rafto Prize</strong> for her work on behalf of women and minorities in war-torn Iraq.</p>
<p>The Rafto Prize is awarded annually to individuals or organizations that have distinguished themselves in their work for human rights and democracy.</p>
<p>A great deal of abuse is inflicted on women and minorities in many conflicts around the world today. Sexual violence is often part of battle plans, and Iraq is just one of many places where women’s rights are sacrificed for political and military objectives.</p>
<p>Mohammed works on three fronts to secure the rights of vulnerable groups. She works with local organisations throughout Iraq to teach classes on human rights, and as a journalist she spreads the word about rights and democracy.</p>
<p>She lobbies for human rights in Iraq and internationally, building networks and alliances in the struggle against violence, human trafficking and sex slavery. And Mohammed and the OWFI provide protection for victims of abuse committed by militia groups and others.</p>
<p>Mohammed speaks out publicly and fearlessly on behalf of human rights and equality. She challenges the authorities to do more for Iraqi women and is not afraid to point to violations of fundamental human rights locally and internationally.</p>

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Iraqi Woman Wins Human Rights Award

Human rights campaigner and leader of the Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq (OWFI), Yanar Mohammed (55), has been awarded the 2016 Rafto Prize for her work on behalf of women and minorities in war-torn Iraq. The Rafto Prize is awarded annually to individuals or organizations that have distinguished themselves in their work for human […]

CoolClownFish’s Blog – Military Strikes Hit ISIL Terrorists in Syria, Iraq

<p>U.S. and coalition military forces continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq on Tuesday, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported on Wednesday.</p>
<p>Officials reported details of yesterday’s strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.</p>
<p><strong>Strikes in Syria</strong></p>
<p>Attack, bomber, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 12 strikes in Syria:</p>
<ul>
<li>Near Shadaddi, two strikes engaged an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two vehicles.</li>
<li>Near Raqqah, a strike destroyed an ISIL pump jack.</li>
<li>Near Dayr Az Zawr, two strikes destroyed 12 oil tanker trucks and two oil wellheads and disabled a bridge along an ISIL supply route.</li>
<li>Near Manbij, two strikes engaged two ISIL tactical units and destroyed five fighting positions.</li>
<li>Near Mara, five strikes engaged three ISIL tactical units and destroyed five fighting positions and a mortar system.</li>
</ul>
<p><strong>Strikes in Iraq</strong></p>
<p>Attack, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 10 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:</p>
<ul>
<li>Near Qaim, a strike destroyed an ISIL vehicle bomb-making facility.</li>
<li>Near Kisik, a strike produced inconclusive results.</li>
<li>Near Mosul, four strikes engaged an ISIL tactical unit, suppressed a mortar system and destroyed an anti-air artillery system and a tunnel.</li>
<li>Near Qayyarah, two strikes destroyed two ISIL vehicles and a mortar system.</li>
<li>Near Ramadi, a strike engaged an ISIL tactical unit.</li>
<li>Near Sultan Abdallah, a strike destroyed an ISIL mortar system and damaged an excavator.</li>
</ul>
<p>Task force officials define a strike as one or more kinetic events that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single, sometimes cumulative, effect. Therefore, officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIL vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against buildings, vehicles and weapon systems in a compound, for example, having the cumulative effect of making those targets harder or impossible for ISIL to use. Accordingly, officials said, they do not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target. Ground-based artillery fired in counterfire or in fire support to maneuver roles is not classified as a strike.</p>
<p><strong>Part of Operation Inherent Resolve</strong></p>
<p>The strikes were conducted as part of <a id=”anch_95″ href=”http://www.defense.gov/News/Special-Reports/0814_Inherent-Resolve”target=”_blank”>Operation Inherent Resolve</a>, the operation to eliminate the ISIL terrorist group and the threat it poses to Iraq, Syria, the region and the wider international community. The destruction of targets in Syria and Iraq further limits ISIL’s ability to project terror and conduct operations, officials said.</p>
<p>Coalition nations that have conducted strikes in Syria include the United States, Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Denmark, France, Jordan, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. Coalition nations that have conducted strikes in Iraq include the United States, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Jordan, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.</p>
<p><em>(Source: US Dept of Defense)</em></p>

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Military Strikes Hit ISIL Terrorists in Syria, Iraq

U.S. and coalition military forces continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq on Tuesday, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported on Wednesday. Officials reported details of yesterday’s strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports. Strikes in Syria Attack, bomber, fighter […]

CoolClownFish’s Blog – Building Market Opportunity and Women’s Networks in MENA

<p><em>By Madeleine White</em></p>
<p>Reflections on <a href=”http://www.tradeandimpact.com/”>Trade+Impact</a> summit, in Ifrane, Morocco 19-23rd September 2016</p>
<p><em>Madeleine is co-founder of <a href=”http://nina-iraq.com”>Ninamagazine</a>, Impact director of Enterprise development NGO <a href=”http://challengesworldwide.com/”>Challenges Worldwide</a> (a founder member of the Access to Finance for Rural Enterprise (<a href=”http://acreimpactinvest.org/”>ACRE</a>) consortium). Madeleine contributed to discussions around the importance of Impact investment and Social enterprise within wider economic development, based on Challenges Worldwide role within the ACRE consortium, and Challenges Capital role as Syndicate manager. </em></p>
<p>Designed to increase the impact women-led social enterprises have in their communities, the inaugural Trade +Impact summit in Ifrane, Morocco focussed on addressing 2 key sectors: Craft/textiles (by hand) and Agribusiness for cosmetics. The idea of an event that linked real business being done and investments being made to wider discussion around inclusion and theory was an exciting one – and indeed had been 5 years in the pipeline.</p>
<p><em>Says Kathleen Holland, founder Trade +Impact:</em></p>
<p>“We were keen to establish a new way of collaborating, evidencing practical outcomes to discussion points that have been part of the Women’s Economic Empowerment discussion for several years. We picked Trade, Social Impact Investment, Skills Development (with a focus on technology), Networking and Advocacy as the pillars at the heart of this summit, as we felt they most closely addressed the challenges faced by women in these regions and sectors.”</p>
<p>Sponsored by the Moroccan government’s trade and investment arms, <em>Invest in Morocco,</em> as well as educational partners Al Akawayn University and trade partners Handicraft from Morocco -Trade+ Impact saw over 150 women from across five continents gather to explore their role in making change happen.</p>
<p>The idea behind targeting the sectors was that both agribusiness and craft sit amongst two of the top employers for women in Africa and the Middle East. Indeed, they are most often run by women-led social enterprises that positively impact their employees and communities. In West Africa alone 16,000,000 women collect and harvest the Shea nut, 10% of which goes directly into cosmetics.</p>
<p>Morocco was a great place to launch this concept and trade fair, as it straddles both the MENA region and Africa, two regions that are seen as having significant potential but are also still challenges by real barriers to growth, particularly in terms of equal access to economic opportunities for women.</p>
<p>As Microsoft Social Media lead Miri Rodrigues shared in her impassioned speech,</p>
<p>“We are all actors in creating a reality that people can understand and use. Own your story and use it to take your work to the world.”</p>
<p>With that clarion call echoing in my ears I set to put the final touches to my area of expertise, linking economic growth with social purpose, knowledge share (in terms of access with finance and investment) to intelligent design around innovative investment solutions.</p>
<p>However, as ever, it is important to contexualise the challenges from the outset. This was done throughout the event, but was discussed with particular focus at the panel I participated in, which focussed on <em>Social Impact investment.</em></p>

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Building market opportunity and women’s networks in MENA and Africa

By Madeleine White Reflections on Trade+ Impact summit, in Ifrane, Morocco 29-23rd September 2016 Madeleine is co-founder of Nina magazine, Impact director of Enterprise development NGO Challenges Worldwide (a founder member of the Access to Finance for Rural Enterprise (ACRE) consortium). Madeleine contributed to discussions around the importance of Impact investment and Social enterprise within wider economic […]

CoolClownFish’s Blog – Jiyad: Refining Investment Law should be Rejected or Redrafted

<p><em>By Ahmed Mousa Jiyad. </em></p>
<p><em>Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of <a href=”http://www.iraq-businessnews.com/”>IraqBusiness News</a>.</em></p>
<p style=”text-align: center;”><em><span style=”text-decoration: underline;”><strong>Remarks on the Second Amendment of Oil Refining Investment Law 64 of 2007</strong></span></em></p>
<p>The Second Amendment of <em>Oil Refining Investment Law</em> has specific very serious flaws, and should be either rejected or redrafted.</p>
<p>The proposed amendment was posted on the Parliament website, giving the opportunity for the public and professionals alike to have their say in the proposed laws. This move by the legislating authority is highly appreciated, since good governance comprises many components, among them transparency, participation and recognition of rights to information.</p>
<p>This intervention is partly responding to such call by the Parliament, considering the imminent voting on the amendment; but mostly it is a continuation to my consistent follow-up of the development in the petroleum sector and sustainable development effort, or lack of it, in the country.</p>
<p>More specificly, the purpose of this intervention is to identify the flaws in the proposed legislation, to explain why they are so, and to propose practical alternatives.</p>
<p><strong>Please <a href=”http://www.iraq-businessnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Ahmed-Mousa-Jiyad-Remarks-on-the-Second-Amendment-of-Oil-Refining-Investment-Law-64-of-2007-IBN.pdf”target=”_blank”>click here to download Ahmed Mousa Jiyad’s full report</a>.</strong></p>
<p><em>Mr Jiyad is an independent development consultant, scholar and Associate with <strong>Centre for Global Energy Studies (CGES)</strong>, London. He was formerly a senior economist with the<strong> Iraq National Oil Company</strong> and Iraq’s Ministry of Oil, Chief Expert for the Council of Ministers, Director at the Ministry of Trade, and International Specialist with UN organizations in Uganda, Sudan and Jordan. He is now based in Norway (Email: <a href=”mailto:mou-jiya@online.no”>mou-jiya@online.no</a>, Skype ID: Ahmed Mousa Jiyad). Read more of <a href=”http://www.iraq-businessnews.com/about/contributors/ahmed-mousa-jiyad/”>MrJiyad’s biography here</a>.</em></p>

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