Kurdistan’s Road to Independence: Building a New Economic Structure

By Tara Shwan

As the people of the Kurdistan Region prepare to head to the polls on September 25, 2017, in a historical referendum on Kurdistan's independence, we compare the economies of Iraq with other nations and ask, “What economic structure would a sovereign Kurdistan take?"

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Kurdistan’s Independence Referendum from an Economic Point of View

By Tara Shwan

This is not a political opinion, but an economic point of view. Some people in the Kurdistan Region oppose the proposed referendum for independence just because it's adopted by a certain party, while others argue that this isn't the right time for a serious step like that as the Region is suffering from severe economic crisis.

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Good Governance of Natural Resources for Economic Growth

By Paiman Ramazan Ahmad

Kaufmann et al (1999) defined "governance as the traditions and institutions that determine how authority is exercised in a country." Based on available literature including thoughts of neo-institutional scholars including, Douglass North and MancurOlsan, a positive relationship between the quality of institutions, governance structures, and economic growth is found.

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Tara Shwan

Founder and Executive Director

Tara Shwan is the Founder and Executive Director of AKEI. Tara is a forward thinking, culturally diverse business and economic development professional with comprehensive experience facilitating cross-cultural communication in international business and government environments. As a Cultural Advisor for the U.S. Department of Defense, Tara diplomatically liaised between the US Armed Forces, senior Iraqi officials, international institutions, and the media during a period of high tension, conflict, and instability.

Tara has managed multi-million dollar U.S. Government-funded reconstruction projects in the Kurdistan Region, which were highly rated for their transparency and measureable impact in creating better outcomes for hundreds of thousands of civilians. Tara is committed to driving change, building productive partnerships, and exceeding expectations among stakeholders by delivering results.

At the Maryland Department of Labor, Tara served as a consultant, advising on workforce development, business operations, and private sector engagement. Additionally, Tara implemented federal grant-funded training programs, leveraging her expertise in the application of adult learning theories to effectively bridge gaps in skill, knowledge, language, and culture.

Tara holds a BA in Communications and English Language and received her MBA from Strayer University in Alexandria, Virginia with a concentration in Global Economic and Business Development. Tara lives in Northern Virginia and frequently travels to the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Tara is fluent in Arabic, Kurdish, and English.