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We Are Egypt: The movie

Will Stebbins's picture
Also available in: Français
Long before anyone was paying attention, Lillie Paquette was listening.  Her debut film, screened before a diverse audience of World Bank staff and guests, recounts the prologue to the Egyptian revolution. We Are Egypt: The Story Behind the Revolution follows opposition politicians and civil society groups over the course of the two years leading up to the mass uprising. With the benefit of hindsight, the ultimate conclusion in Tahrir Square appears inevitable, but for the men and women struggling for change it was a long process, with many setbacks.  Though the film ends before February 11, 2011 when former President Mubarak stepped down, and focuses on the painstaking work of organizing and building institutions, it is an engaging and valuable historical document.

New benchmarking tool helps universities grade themselves

Adriana Jaramillo's picture
Also available in: Français | العربية
World Bank | Arne Hoel | 2011Arab World Higher Education Ministers have endorsed a screening card tool to benchmark university governance across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Developed by a higher education program at the World Bank supported  Marseille Center for Mediterranean Integration, it is aimed at benchmarking university governance and identifying different patterns and “fitness for purpose” to help higher education institutions understand how they can improve performance.

Arab citizens demanding a seat at the virtual table

Amina Semlali's picture
Also available in: Français | العربية
World Bank | Arne Hoel | 2011Development agencies, such as the World Bank, have often been criticized for not sufficiently listening to the people they are trying to help. For acting without first systematically assessing whether beneficiaries agree with the strategies produced and projects developed on their behalf. To address this, many World Bank teams now arrange in-country consultations with a broad range of people including civil society, young people, and government representatives, depending on the type of project.

Egypt one year after the revolution: Tell us what priorities the World Bank Group should support?

David Craig's picture
Also available in: العربية | Français
Egypt is at a historical crossroads.  Just over a year ago, Egyptians demonstrated to the world that they could successfully come together to reclaim their destiny.  Beginning with Tunisia and continuing with Egypt, a wave of revolutions now commonly referred to as the "Arab Spring" spread to the entire Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.  Citizens demanded respect, voice, accountability, and opportunity for all. One year after the Tahrir revolution, Egypt faces huge challenges, including a fast deteriorating macroeconomic situation, persistent poverty, high unemployment, especially among the youth, and a failing education system. 

Metrics for success in the post-Arab Spring era

Omer Karasapan's picture
Also available in: Français | العربية
An issue that often comes up both within the Bank and outside is how one identifies the metrics to measure whether our countries are on the path to “inclusive” and “sustainable” growth as they move away from the old regimes and their crony-friendly and often wasteful policies and programs. Well, be careful (grateful?) for what you ask for…the metrics are on their way and spot on when it comes to issues around the transition in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

Infrastructure for Jobs in Tough Times

Caroline Freund's picture
The recently released Global Economic Prospects report cautions that a second global financial crisis emanating from the Eurozone is a serious threat. Among the policy recommendations for developing countries is to prioritize infrastructure spending, even in a tight budgetary environment, because of its importance as stimulus and for long-term growth. We couldn’t agree more. This is especially relevant for many countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, where domestic uncertainty has already lowered short-run economic prospects and unemployment is on the rise. A forthcoming report (click here for summary), shows that investment in infrastructure contributes significantly to job creation in MENA.

All aboard! All aboard! transparency is on its way

Lydia Habhab's picture
Also available in: العربية

World Bank | Arne Hoel, 2011Francis Maude, Minister of the Cabinet in the United Kingdom, was at the World Bank recently talking about transparency in the UK. He said it best when he described the classic road of transparency: “Politicians think transparency is a great platform to run on for elections. Politicians think transparency is a great idea once elected because it gives them the opportunity to expose their predecessors. After about a year, transparency seems doesn’t seem like such a great idea anymore because it means politicians then have to expose themselves.”

How to reach the heart of every family

Inger Andersen's picture
Also available in: العربية

World Bank l Arne Hoel, 2011 We touched on many important topics during the Live Chat I hosted last month and when we generated a word cloud out of the conversation we had and the issue that leapt out big and bold was EDUCATION. That’s no surprise. I imagine many of the voices who joined me in the chat were young and among young people education and jobs loom as especially significant. But for a number of years now my colleagues at the Bank have been working on education in the Middle East and North Africa with a sharp focus on quality.

Of pirates, ports and poverty!

Simon Bell's picture
Also available in: Français

A hard-scrabble, drought-prone small African country;  youth unemployment at 70 percent;  poverty rates of 40 percent;  highly dependent on the port which services much of Ethiopia’s imports and exports;  a few foreign military bases which have little connectivity with the local economy.  Pirates roaming the seas off the coast of the region (like a bad Johnny Depp movie);  illegal money suffusing through the region from illicit piracy;  neighboring Somalia in a state of war and chaos;  Yemen just across the Red Sea with its own bloody revolution;  and neighboring Eritrea causing significant problems of their own across the northern frontier.  Can such a nation ever hope to become a more dynamic, diversified, and private-sector oriented state with faster, more fairly distributed, growth and deeper poverty reduction?

Job creation: a big role for big firms

Bob Rijkers's picture
Also available in: Français
SME promotion programs are becoming progressively more popular. While evidence on their effectiveness remains elusive, their policy prominence is predicated on the belief that small firms grow faster and generate the most jobs. Our preliminary analysis of the Tunisian registry of firms, which contains longitudinal information on all formal firms from 1996 until 2010, yields three stylized facts suggesting that large firms are far more important than small firms in generating employment and growth.