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FSVC Update – April 2024

Lesotho: Supporting Women and Youth in Enterprise Development

FSVC and Democracy Works Foundation’s roundtable to support women and youth in enterprise development,

Maseru, Lesotho. January 2024

In Southern Africa, FSVC receives funding from USAID to strengthen anti-corruption efforts and procedures in the region. Key objectives of the program are to strengthen the governance, accounting and public financial management (PFM) capacity of key government institutions, as well as enhance the oversight capacities of key government institutions and civil society organizations (CSOs) to minimize fraud, waste and abuse of state resources. 

Under this program, in Lesotho, FSVC and Democracy Works Foundation recently organized a public-private roundtable that brought together government officials, CSOs and businesses to address challenges hindering support services for women and youth in enterprise development. Discussions highlighted challenges such as insufficient funding, limited dissemination of business development information, and the necessity for policies to bolster anti-corruption efforts. Participants also explored potential reforms to regulatory, policy and PFM frameworks that could promote a more inclusive, responsive and corruption-free business environment.

Through this dialogue, participants gained a deeper understanding of the challenges and opportunities in enterprise development support for marginalized groups, and identified practical actions needed to promote equitable development in the country.

FSVC will build on this activity in coming months to continue to foster greater government transparency, accountability and effectiveness in Lesotho and the wider region.  

Tajikistan: Introducing Fintech Products

FSVC training for commercial banks and microfinance institutions in fintech risk identification and management in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. March 2024

FSVC, with support from the U.S. Department of State, works to increase financial stability, integrity and inclusion in Tajikistan. This work includes bolstering anti-money laundering compliance in both the public and private sectors, as well as diversifying correspondent banking relationships.

Few adults in Tajikistan hold formal financial accounts, partly due to limited product range, quality and accessibility. To tackle these challenges, FSVC has been building the capacity of local financial institutions to understand client needs and offer improved products, while managing associated risks. E-banking solutions and digital financial services, in particular, are increasingly in demand. Tajik banks requested FSVC’s assistance in how to introduce new digital services, and assess and mitigate the associated risks. 

In response, FSVC recently delivered a training in Dushanbe for commercial banks and microfinance institutions in fintech risk identification and management. FSVC volunteer experts led highly interactive training sessions with practical exercises, including building a product, implementing risk management frameworks in practice, and developing crisis management policies and procedures.

As a result of this initiative, local financial institutions now have enhanced policies and procedures to introduce fintech products safely, and better meet the needs of current and potential clients. FSVC looks forward to continuing this important initiative in Tajikistan.

Angola: Improving Auditing of Government Institutions

FSVC training for Supreme Audit Institution auditors, officials from the Ministry of Finance and prosecutors on financial auditing international standards in Luanda, Angola. February 2024

Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) can play critical roles in improving the fiscal transparency of countries. The SAI of Angola is currently seeking to increase the effectiveness of its audits of government institutions by adopting international standards in financial auditing. 

To help them do so, FSVC recently conducted a training on these standards for SAI auditors, officials from the Ministry of Finance and prosecutors in Angola. Led by FSVC experts, the training provided an overview of the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI)’s Framework of Professional Pronouncements and fundamental principles of public sector auditing. Subsequent sessions focused on audit planning, pre-engagement communication and understanding internal controls within audited entities. As a result of this training, participants gained a better understanding of financial auditing standards, were exposed to successful regional case studies, and enhanced their knowledge in audit planning and risk assessment.

Thanks to support from USAID/Southern Africa, FSVC will build on these efforts to continue to enhance the capacity of key institutions in Angola to combat corruption, and promote greater transparency and accountability within government institutions. 

FSVC Symposium on Great Power Rivalries in the Global South

FSVC Symposium on Great Power Rivalries in the Global South, Istanbul, Turkey. March 2024

With support from Carnegie Corporation of New York and Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) Regional Economic Programme Asia (SOPAS), FSVC recently held a symposium titled “Great Power Rivalries in the Global South: Navigating Financial and Economic Security Issues in a Multi-Polar World” in Istanbul. The symposium brought together 30 leading international experts and practitioners in international finance and foreign policy to exchange ideas, break silos and forge connections. 

Discussions centered on how great power rivalries are impacting the Global South and the subsequent effects on the global financial system. Key topics included the growing importance of Global South countries amidst increasingly competitive and divisive global power dynamics, current financial sector challenges, the strategic role of critical minerals, the increased use of sanctions, and fractured global supply chains. Participants were encouraged to question assumptions underlying current policies in these areas, and identify helpful and new ways to frame the dynamics at play.  

This symposium continued a series of conferences that FSVC has held over the past twenty-five years to create a platform for experts from multiple fields and countries to share diverse perspectives on complex global challenges, particularly those relating to the global financial system. Many thanks to Carnegie Corporation of New York, KAS and all participants for a thought-provoking and seminal symposium!