Environment, mentorship and development in focus for Kurdish Chamber Federation

A delegation from Kurdistan Federation Chambers of Commerce visited Sweden during the last week of November looking at how to improve and develop their organisation and cooperating with different stakeholders in society.

Nigar Ibrahim – project manager for Iraq at CTS made the following reflection- “Compared to the first visit from the Kurdish Chambers which was made a couple of years ago, they have come a along way taking responsibility for how they can and should develop the business of the chambers and how they can improve in order to facilitate private sector development in Iraq.”

The sector of interest for the delegation, a part from chamber business, is in the field of greentech and environmental technologies. This has continued to be a focus area within the cooperation between CTS and the Kurdish Chambers as a part of training, delegations but also as a focus for the mentorship programmes.

Environment and mentoring in focus for Iraq

The mentorship method – which was first introduced in Iraq by CTS during 2014 – has taken off and as the first run is coming to an end almost 150 individuals are signed up for a new round.

The programme, carried out in Iraq by CTS partner The Chamber of Commerce in Erbil, has engaged companies and entrepreneurs, youths and universities with the aim to strengthen relations, achieving and improving on international trade, entrepreneurship and environment. The “graduation” from programme will be held in Erbil but with representatives from all the chambers in Kurdistan as well as from Bagdad – both from the private and public sector – to create links, networks and further spread the achievements and possibilities from mentorship.

The results show that mentorship as a method has really worked in creating knowledge and growth as well as a tool for bridging the gap between different sectors and actors. The triple-helix model has gathered companies, universities and government representatives with a focus on environmental technologies. Several study visits have been made to Sweden and connections and possible business contacts are in place. A conference for environmental technologies is being planned for early next year aiming at gathering representatives in and around Kurdistan but also from Bagdad to increase cooperation between provinces, public and private sector on implementing green technologies.

The mentorship programme and method will continue to be implemented by the chambers in Kurdistan.

Iraq continues to be an interesting market for Swedish companies and presents many opportunities in terms of business and other types of cooperation. The security situation in the country makes progress slow and sometimes difficult. CTS hopes to be able to contribute to the country with its networks even after the Swedish government has ended its development cooperation with Iraq in 2016.

For more information contact Nigar Ibrahim, nigar.ibrahim@chambertrade.se

Want to know more about Mentorship? Read about East Africa here and about the new launch in Ethiopia here