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Pavel Velkovsky

Pavel Velkovsky

Partnerships Intern

Pavel is a law student at the University of Washington and holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and French from UC Berkeley. He has worked as a legal assistant at Sanford Heisler Sharp, a public interest and employment law firm headquartered in Washington DC. Pavel is passionate about energy and environmental policy and hopes to contribute to a more prosperous and sustainable world.



Let Them Eat Cake (and surf, and swim, and play golf): Is King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC), Saudi Arabia a Liberal Oasis?

Recent research delved into the economic challenges facing King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) in Saudi Arabia, revealing a nuanced perspective. While the outlook for KAEC’s economy appears pessimistic, there’s a glimmer of social optimism regarding the appeal of social liberalism, particularly among the youth. This emerging trend has garnered attention from Western media and scholars. KAEC, alongside other planned cities like NEOM, is positioned as a response to population growth and urbanization while aiming to stimulate economic growth. However, official Saudi government sources lack substantial mention of social liberalism, prompting questions about its authenticity versus being a marketing ploy. Is this dual message reflective of Saudi trying to push the social liberalism signal overseas while maintaining a conservative rhetoric at home? Is there a social cherry on the slightly stale economic cake?

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Good Enough Governance and The Dragon from the Mountains

February Book Club Review

Each month, the CCI team selects a new book to read and discuss together. Our book club selections cover a wide range of topics that are relevant to charter cities, but they are most often related to development, urban issues, and governance. In this ongoing series, reviewers will offer summaries of the books we’ve read and share some of the highlights from our discussions.

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war and constitutions

Charter Cities Podcast Episode 63: Luqman Edu on Itana, Nigeria’s First Digital Free Zone

What would it take to create the ideal jurisdiction for global tech companies to be able to grow and scale in Africa? Joining us today to unpack this question is Luqman Edu, co-founder and CEO of Itana, Nigeria’s first Digital Free Zone. Through their partnership with the Federal Government of Nigeria, Itana is creating an opportunity for global businesses to operate and provide services remotely, without being physically present in Nigeria. We use today’s conversation to delve into the ins and outs of building a Digital Free Zone, Itana’s ambition to become the Delaware of Africa, how this will help companies connect with untapped African talent, and what it will take to realize these goals. We discuss the key challenges startups and companies typically face when trying to do business in Nigeria or Africa, how Itana is solving these problems, the unique benefits they are offering to the first 100 companies to partner with them, and much more. You won’t want to miss out on this thought-provoking conversation with Luqman Edu on Itana, the innovative work that they’re doing, and why success for Itana means success for Africa!

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