Our contributors are concerned with working in emerging economies, specialising in economic development, post conflict resolution and business strategy. The site was conceived by Gavin Jones, who has worked throughout his career in challenging economic and political environments.
Latest entries
Libyan Energy Risk Assessment

Libyan Energy Risk Assessment

AKE has produced the first independent security and risk assessment of Libya’s major oil producing and refining facilities. Designed to provide accurate and actionable information to companies looking to enter or re-enter the oil-rich North African state, the project aimed to assess the threat level in the areas most associated with the energy industry. The...
Iraq Deteriorates Without US Military

Iraq Deteriorates Without US Military

Over 100 people were killed during violence in Iraq last week. Over 200 more were injured. Terrorist attacks remain a regular occurrence following the withdrawal of US troops at the end of last year and the outlook is not good. The US pullout has not signalled a decrease in violence. It is actually more likely to lead...

Iraq – the opportunity and the problem

It is very difficult with a market like Iraq to separate current issues, past progress and likely consequences.   Since mid-2009 there has been significant achievement and progress, a sustained period of calm which now, sadly , is turning into what will probably be a very violent period as the actions and indecisions running up to...
Kenya Currency Caper

Kenya Currency Caper

The advice was clear: ‘For changing money to South Sudanese Pounds please bring US$100 notes, series 2006 or later. They have to be nice and crisp with no tears or marks, or it is difficult to change them. There are no ATMs in South Sudan.’ So I went to RBS in Inverness and got some...

Smart for the Job in Kabul

Back in Kabul. I am still recovering from jet lag and the 3am flight from Dubai when there is a knock on my door. It is a well dressed young man wearing a crisp self-coloured shirt, corduroy jacket, neatly pressed jeans and polished black shoes, which in another era would have been called winkle-pickers. His...

World Bank Issues Alert on Afghanistan Economy

Interesting article in this week’s Moby Updates.  The piece below was written by ALISSA J. RUBIN of the New York Times: Afghanistan will suffer a recession in 2014 and beyond after foreign troops leave and aid dwindles, and if the security situation gets worse, the country could face complete economic collapse, according to an ominous report released...

Skirmishes in the Northern Iraq starting already.

The American military has only just started its pull out but a dispute has already broken out over which side will control an airfield once the Americans leave.    This is going to be first of several flashpoints up and down the Kurdish / Iraqi border as we go forward into early 2012 Over the years...

The Privatisation of Warfare

A few months ago I wrote about the privatisation of the jobs that Governments should be doing in conflict environments – see Private Contractors in Conflict Zones.  We are a point where there are almost 2 contractors for every uniformed soldier in Afghanistan and some of the stuff that private contractors are doing makes uncomfortable...

Time to keep your head down in Iraq.

Last week hundreds of people were arrested all over Iraq in an operation launched by the security forces against members of the Ba’ath party.    Fair enough – it is a banned Party.    However the authorities have used the membership list of the old party to find the people worth arresting, and claimed that the Party...

Upper Quartile launch the Libya Business News

Following the success of the Iraq Business News launched 18 months ago by Upper Quartile and the Anglo Arab Insurance Brokers – we will launch the Libya Business News on Tuesday the 15th November. The Libya Business News will provide upto date news of the fast changing business and commercial opportunities in Libya as the...

Draw-down or melt-down in Afghanistan?

Planning for the draw-down of Coalition forces in Afghanistan is well under way, with all NATO fighting troops due to leave by the end of 2014. Responsibility for security will transfer to the Afghan army and police, and a phased approach to this transition has already begun in some provinces and districts. At the same...

AKE Lowers Libya Rating Further

AKE has lowered the security risk rating for Libya following an improvement in conditions in recently liberated parts of the country. It is now rated at 35 on AKE’s 1-100 scale which is a notable improvement from the ratings of 63 and 64 which the country was assigned between March and October.   However, the...