Aaron in Azerbaijan

Just another blog about Azerbaijan.

I’m Supervising Something

with one comment

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.

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Written by Aaron

February 15, 2010 at 1:45 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. How many credit unions are there? Are they each independent? If World Bank requires foreigners on their Supervisory Commission, wouldn’t it make more sense to assign loan specialists? Does the Supervisory Commission like this idea? What percentage of the money is aid money or loan money from aid money grants and who regulates the loans?

    What is PC doing in the area of Agriculture coop loans, land ownership and conflict resolution? Does USAID or an historic contractor have histories here? World Bank can’t really require a USAID loan specialist, but this might be the best idea and then get the PCs involved with the loans on an individual basis with the credit unions. Loan programs usually work best when this is done as the loan programs spread throughout the country and all the coops, regardless of affiliation, become involved. This may be the way to start instead of going with only a few coops and growing.

    If you want to set up a PC program for coops you could approach PC and have them assigned to individual coops with PC/USAID administrators at the Supervisory Commission. Depending on the number of coops, their location and status as lenders; this can be a lot of jobs for PCs and, maybe, if handled right, more loan/grant/interest money for the coops.

    I was a loan specialist put in this program. It was highly successful. If you need any more information, email me.

    GF

    February 15, 2010 at 11:03 pm


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