The Initiative for Policy Dialogue (IPD) is organizing workshops in November for journalists from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Nigeria to focus the public on challenges facing developing nations with rich energy resources.

The workshops, entitled “The Hazards of Petroleum Wealth: A Workshop for Reporters,” are intended for business and economic journalists in the host countries, especially those who cover the oil sector.

Speakers will include Joseph Stigilitz, a Nobel Prize-winning economist, who founded the IPD. His organization is hosting the workshops, with the Public Finance Monitoring Center. The workshops are also receiving financial assistance from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Network Media Foundation and the East-East Center.

The workshop in Kazakhstan is scheduled for November 16 to 18 in Almaty. The Azerbaijan workshop is scheduled for November 19 to 21 in Baku. Journalists selected to attend will be expected to write two articles based on the sessions. Workshop lecturers, including accomplished international journalists, will critique the articles.

The IPD draft agendas for the workshops note that both Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, because of their oil wealth, are test cases and could become role models for other countries, “depending on how [their] leadership decides to handle the challenge.”

The IPD also says it is planning a similar workshop for Nigerian journalists in December or early 2004.

Stiglitz, who also was an economic advisor to President Clinton, is currently a professor of economics and finance at Columbia University in New York City. Other speakers at the workshops will include journalists Sahin Alpay and Andrew Finkel and international scholar Jenik Radon of Columbia University.

The IPD, headquartered at Columbia University, is an international network of economists and social scientists who help developing countries learn more about policy alternatives.

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