Archive | Robert Tollast

Taif eWallet shakes up Iraqi finance

By Robert Tollast Recently, a friend at Fikra Space, the pioneering Iraqi hackerspace group, emailed me some news that could have far reaching effects in Iraq. On the face of it, it probably seems like a fairly mundane development. Ideal Payments, the electronic payment providers, have partnered with Belgium based Monniz and Iraq's Taif Money […]

IBBC and the Southern Governorates

By Robert Tollast. The following opinions are the author's only, and do not necessarily represent the views of Iraq Business News. Despite the grim headlines, the main challenge for doing business in many parts of Iraq is not really security, it is still bureaucracy and a lack of clarity regarding who is responsible for different […]

1000 Attend Baghdad Classical Concert

By Robert Tollast. Attending a great live music event is something many of us will share on Facebook-- well that's if you're the type who loves social media. Some go further and spend the entire concert trying to film it on their phone or live tweeting and talking loudly...but enough about those people. When the […]

Baghdad's "Irrational Optimists"

By Robert Tollast. An interview with Mohamed Ridha, of the Baghdad entrepreneurial tech collective Fikra Space. So what on earth is a hackerspace? Since the essence of the concept is open source, it seems apt (although not so professional!) to quote Wikipedia, which has the most succinct definition. According to the page a hackerspace is, […]

Iraq's Road to Counterinsurgency

By Robert Tollast. The following opinions are the authors only, and do not necessarily represent the views of Iraq Business News.  This article examines Iraq’s localised and national level attempts to foster pan sectarian cooperation against ISIL, looked at in the context of previous counterinsurgency campaigns fought by Britain and the US.  “Our fighting against […]

The Foundations of Thi Qar

By Robert Tollast, Iraq analyst with The Brecon Group. Standing on the Ziggurat, an impressive religious temple from the Sumerian period which was largely restored in the 1980s, you can still see solidified tar seeping out from the several thousand year old brickwork. In fact "qar" in the province’s name refers to tar that was […]

Is the Islamic State "losing?"

By Robert Tollast. A number of recent reports have suggested the Islamic State is “losing” the fight in Iraq. Does this mean the end of the organization? It's a topic I wrote about at length for Dubai based consultancy The Brecon Group. In the long term of course, the answer is no. ISIL (the Islamic State […]

CWC’s 4th Kurdistan-Iraq Oil and Gas Conference

Highlights from December’s London Conference. By Robert Tollast. According to current plans, the Kurdish region of Iraq will be able to export 1 million barrels of oil in the not too distant future--by some accounts by the end of 2015. By 2020 as much as 10 billion cubic metres of gas will be exported from […]

Iraq Britain Business Council: Accentuating the Positive

By Robert Tollast. Luay al-Khairullah has reason to be optimistic. As Chairman of the Dhi Qar Provincial Investment Commission, I spoke to him last year about the planned Nasiriyah Integrated Project (NIP) a 300,000 barrel a day capacity refinery not far from his home town. It's a project that will create much needed jobs and provide […]

Haider al Abadi: Bringing Strategy to the Table

By Robert Tollast. “How is electricity?”, I asked. “Excellent” replied Marwan, a young student of Physics at the University of Dhi Qar. Marwan (not his real name) is studying wireless transmission, and one of his lecturers is currently in Leicester studying with a British Council initiative to bolster the academic capacity of Iraqi universities. Will […]

Erbil, Iraq and the ISIL Offensive

By Robert Tollast. The following is an interview with an Iraqi finance professional with a degree in Accounting and Finance. He is also a Chartered Certified Accountant with extensive experience in Banking. He returned to Iraq in early 2013 and now works as a Portfolio Manager, travelling across Iraq but residing in the Iraqi Kurdistan. He was kind […]

Defying Daash in Karbala and Baghdad

The following article features an interview with Mantid International CEO Ginger Cruz. Robert Tollast’s opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily represent the views of Mantid International, nor do the opinions expressed here necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News. The vast majority of Iraqis, Shi'a, Kurd and Sunni, are preparing themselves to […]