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FSVC Monthly Update -Promoting Entrepreneurship in Algeria, and More

FSVC Begins New Program to Promote Entrepreneurship in Algeria

FSVC volunteer experts Stephan Lamprecht (right, back) and John Dorland (right, center) meet with representatives from the Haba Business Incubator; Algiers, May 4, 2018.

In May 2018, FSVC launched a new program to promote entrepreneurship in Algeria called “Djazair Up”, in partnership with the Algerian Startup Initiative. Entrepreneurship and small business development is particularly needed to create job opportunities in Algeria, where youth unemployment is nearly 22%.

Djazair Up will assist existing startups in Algeria in accessing finance by improving their skills in areas such as marketing and financial management, and increasing their access to markets. The program will also support business incubators in providing innovative services to yield investor-ready entrepreneurs.

As part of the first activities of the program, FSVC undertook an in-depth assessment of 12 Algerian startups to identify obstacles preventing them from scaling up their business operations and expanding their customer base. Following the assessment, FSVC organized a workshop to train startups on customer acquisition, including customer segmentation strategies, sales management and marketing tactics.

The program is funded by the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) at the U.S. Department of State.

Angola: Improving Transparency and Accountability in Government Budgets

FSVC volunteer expert Ricardo Bulgari (second from right) discusses budget audit principles with Angolan government officials; Luanda, May 8, 2018.

As part of its ongoing technical assistance program to strengthen public financial management in Angola and Swaziland, FSVC is working with the Angolan National Court of Accounts (NCA) and the Ministry of Finance (MinFin) to strengthen their capacity to analyze and audit government budgets and accounts.

In early May, FSVC volunteer expert Ricardo Bulgari traveled to Luanda to train NCA and MinFin representatives on the government audit process and promoting good governance among public servants. Mr. Bulgari also discussed methods to curb corruption within the government, citing penalties, strong internal controls and compliance programs as key techniques and measures.

U.S. Ambassador to Angola Nina Fite attended a portion of the training, and offered her insights on the importance of transparency, accountability and good governance to strengthen Angola’s ties to the global financial system.

Eurasia: FSVC Shares its Regional Experience at USAID Conference

FSVC Albania Country Director Erison Kotini (second from right) participates in a panel discussion on financial sector development during USAID’s Europe/Eurasia Regional Economic Growth Conference; Skopje, May 17, 2018.

On May 16-17 2018, FSVC Albania Country Director Erison Kotini attended a conference hosted by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) on Europe/Eurasia Regional Economic Growth in Skopje, Macedonia. The conference focused on increasing the effectiveness of USAID economic growth programs during an era of political volatility, and supporting the significant economic reforms taking place in the region.

Mr. Kotini participated in a panel discussion that focused on access to finance, financial sector stability, supervision, governance and innovation. He spoke about FSVC’s current work in the Europe and Eurasia region, and emphasized FSVC’s significant efforts to strengthen supervisory frameworks and financial infrastructure in Albania and Moldova. This conference provided an excellent platform for FSVC to highlight the work it has done in partnership with USAID in Eastern Europe/Eurasia, and gain insight on current geopolitical and economic trends affecting the region.

FSVC Welcomes Former Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew to Board of Directors

FSVC is pleased to welcome former U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew to its Board of Directors. Secretary Lew served as the 76th Secretary of the Treasury from 2013 to 2017, and previously served as White House Chief of Staff. He is currently a partner at the private equity firm Lindsay Goldberg and is also a Visiting Professor of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.

Secretary Lew fills a vacancy on FSVC’s Board left by Randal K. Quarles, who stepped down in October to serve as Vice Chair for Supervision of the Federal Reserve System.

Please see the press release announcing Secretary Lew’s election to the Board here.