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May 2013

Yomken.com: an open platform for innovation and funding

Tamer Taha's picture
Also available in: Français | العربية
        CMI

In a country like Egypt which faces a host of political and economic challenges, innovative solutions are very much in demand. The good news is that there is a wave of innovation and entrepreneurship spreading across the Arab world. The bad news is that micro and small enterprises -- mostly working in low-tech industries -- in Egypt are not getting the support they need to be part of this wave.

MENA Social Safety Nets virtual community expands in Kuwait

Lillian Frost's picture
Also available in: العربية
        World Bank

“This is the first time when I left a conference that I really felt like we were a family. Already people have sent emails to continue the discussions we had. Some of the participants have really valuable experience with social safety nets and there is a lot we can learn from each other.”

Dancing with angels

Simon Bell's picture
Also available in: العربية | Français
        World Bank | Arne Hoel

Since when do the hard-nosed folks who work at the World Bank on boosting private sector performance in the Middle East and North Africa go off to conferences to discuss ANGELS? Well, that’s just what we did last month when a team from the finance and private sector unit went to San Francisco to attend the Angel Capital Association (ACA).

STEPping up to the knowledge economy in the Arab world

Anuja Utz's picture
Also available in: العربية | Français
        World Bank

Daunting challenges lie before the Arab-speaking workforce today. Forty million jobs must be created in the next decade to employ the region, home to the highest rate of youth unemployment – not to mention that many countries are still undergoing a period of political transition. The fundamental question about job creation now is where these countries should be headed and how they are getting there.

Delivering Development in Tough Times

Caroline D. Anstey's picture
Also available in: العربية | Français

Delivering Development in Tough Times

In Gaza earlier this week I met a group of students learning cutting-edge computer animation skills at a technical institute we support. And I met a crowd of women in a small village where simple street paving has made all the difference to their mobility, their children’s health and access to education, and I sensed, their civic pride. All good barometers of development you'd think except these particular students go out into an economy where youth unemployment hovers at around 50 percent with few prospects for improvement.

The “Invisible Majority”: Why gender inclusion matters in Morocco

Ibtissam Alaoui's picture
Also available in: Français | العربية
        World Bank | Arne Hoel

The Middle East and North Africa region still lags behind other comparable countries in gender equality. Women’s access to opportunities continues to be restricted by socio-structural obstacles, inflexible mentalities and deep-rooted traditions. The Arab Spring gave women hope that empowerment and greater participation in decision-making were possible, but future progress is threatened.

Yemen's women make their voices heard from revolution to constitution

Amina Semlali's picture
Also available in: العربية | Français
        Photo credit: Mohammed Huwais

Yemeni women are some of the fiercest women I have ever met. Through conflicts and famine, many have had to struggle for the survival of their families. The abject poverty afflicts Yemeni women in particularly harsh ways, yet they carry on and persevere. Still, their pride in their culture and love for their beautiful country always shines through.

Tackling unemployment with know-how from Down Under

Rene Leon Solano's picture

        World Bank | Arne Hoel

It was a cold and rainy afternoon in Tunisia in February of 2011. My colleagues and I were on mission, driving from the Ministry of Employment to our next meeting. We got stuck! The street was blocked with hundreds of youth chanting “3amal” (“work” in Arabic). They were outside one of the biggest public employment offices in Tunis demanding work, often violently.

Give kids a chance: ECD-4-ABC

Safaa El-Kogali's picture
Also available in: العربية | Français

        Arne Hoel

The World Bank’s education strategy 2020 shifts the focus from adult to early education, by promoting investments aimed at ensuring all children have equal access to quality learning. Focusing on early childhood education is a smart investment that not only achieves better learning but also better life outcomes and greater social inclusion.

Natural disasters in the Arab World: Today’s plan is a shelter for tomorrow’s storm

Franck Bousquet's picture
Also available in: العربية | Français
        Kim Eun Yeul

Disaster Risk Management has become a critical component of national policy and planning. In the Middle East and North Africa region, the interplay of natural disasters, together with the impacts of climate change, water scarcity, and urbanization, have emerged as serious challenges for policymaker. While the number of natural disasters around the world has almost doubled since the 1980s, in MENA, the number has almost tripled. 

Arab citizens want better social services & protection for the poor, not just subsidies

Joana Silva's picture
Also available in: Français | العربية
        Source: Kamel Cakici

Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity… poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings.” Many years later these words by Nelson Mandela still resonate with me in my work on social protection of the poor in the Arab world, where a growing middle class exists alongside severe poverty.

Go for a walk in the footsteps of Abraham

Ali Abu Kumail's picture
Also available in: Français | العربية

World Bank

Tackling a myriad of challenges including cross border issues and escalating internal conflicts, the Middle East seems like the last place for serious integration – economic or otherwise. So, a long-distance walking trail across the region seems like an inconceivable notion. Even if it would exist, surely none would want to walk it. Not so, it appears.

The voices of the people: street art in MENA, a visual guide

Simon Bell's picture
Also available in: Français | العربية

Simon Bell

After decades of suppressed voice, an inability to say what one thought, to protest, to offer a contrary point of view or dissent – the Arab world is at last unshackled to say exactly what it wants and wherever it wants. Nowhere is this more true than on the streets of the Arab capitals where an explosion of graffiti is voicing the views of the people in both words and pictures.