RMF is proud to announce that Akbar Oedin Arif has been accepted as a participant in the 2008 Harvard Bridge Builders Conference. Each year Harvard hosts leaders from different developing countries to participate in a week long seminar on institution building, leadership, and other priorities of political and economic development. RMF is proud to say that Akbar Oedin Arif, the CEO of KOMPIP, one of RMF’s partner organizations based in Solo, Central Java, has been selected to participate in the conference, which will take place from February 24th to March 1st, 2008. He will have his airfare, accommodation and visa covered by Harvard. At KOMPIP, Akbar has worked to refine his "community savings" program, dispersing RMF funds through KOMPIP’s neighborhood-based micro-credit model. He and his colleagues have also been gathering financial and qualitative data for a proposed Third Fiscal Devolution, a pilot program for using micro-credit to distribute provincial funds directly to rural neighborhoods. Nick Taranto, an RMF liaison who worked with Akbar and KOMPIP in Java, says "Akbar is a fantastic leader from a country that often receives short shrift in the international development community despite its geopolitical and geographic strategic importance. Akbar acts locally, but definitely approaches issues with a global mindset. I am very excited for him!" The RMF sentiment is mutual. Congratulations, Akbar!

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