I’m Supervising Something
It looks like working at this credit union is opening doors. And these doors certainly aren’t doors I expected to exist during my Peace Corps stint. Who thought I would be participating as part of the Supervisory Commission of the Azerbaijan Credit Union Association (Azərbaycan Kredit İttifaqları Assosiasiyası)? Nobody. That’s who.
But that’s what it looks like. Last week, I went to my first Commission meeting, with Tim, during the big snowstorm in Baku. We still tromped through the blizzard to get to the Dome Soviet (House of Government) building and had our meeting with the board members. They included Elçin, the head of the AKİA, and the president of the Credit Implementing Agency. There was also a representative of the Ministry of Agriculture and a credit union director selected to speak for individual credit unions. I’m still unsure exactly what the role of the Supervisory Commission is, but I do know that it requires at least three foreign members (thus our American-ness comes into play) per instructions from the World Bank. Tim and I were the only non-Azerbaijanis there, so we are working on adding another Peace Corps volunteer to the list, preferably someone with a little more experience in Finance.
In our first meeting our agenda was rather sparse, covering two items: Introducing Tim and me, and then getting a brief end-of-year report from the head of the Credit Implementing Agency. Then we had some tea, chatted for a while with Elçin and the credit union representative, and were then on our way. The next meeting should be in about three months, and we’ll see how far we’ve come at that point.
Here’s a brief USAID article describing the Association’s trip to America a few years back, quoting our good friend Elçin and explaining how we’re trying to help out Azerbaijan.