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CFR.org Interview: A reform agenda for Arab economies

Guest Blogger's picture
Jonathan Masters, Associate Staff Writer for the CFR.org of the Council on Foreign Relations recently interviewed World Bank’s Manuela V. Ferro, Director of Poverty Reduction and Economic Management for the Middle East and North Africa region. They discussed the economic challenges central to the political transformations sweeping the Middle East and North Africa. Some of the issues presented include the need to tackle corruption, slow growth, inequality and unemployment that helped arouse protest movements in the region.

Q&A with Yasmina Khadra on Facebook

Guest Blogger's picture
Also available in: العربية | Français
Youthink!, World Bank’s youth site, is hosting a Q&A session with renowned Algerian novelist Yasmina Khadra. His 10 best-sellers have been translated into 33 languages. His most recent novel, “The African Equation” portrays the hardships of people living in Africa.  Khadra is adapting two of his novels for film: “The Attack” directed by filmmaker Ziad Doueiri, and, “Ce que le jour doit à la nuit,  by Alexandre Arcady. Post your questions for Yasmina Khadra on Youthink’s Facebook  and Twitter wall through January 2, 2012.

Recovering with jobs in the Middle East & North Africa

Bob Rijkers's picture
Also available in: Français
What policies can help mitigate the impact of financial crises  on employment? In an ambitious paper presented at the World Bank seminar series of the Chief Economist of the Middle East and Northern Africa Region, IMF colleagues Davide Furceri, Dominique Guillaume and Lorenzo Bernal-Verdugo provide a partial answer to what is arguably one of the most pressing questions confronting policymakers across the globe today.

Social entrepreneurship in Egypt: challenges and opportunities

Myra Valenzuela's picture
Also available in: Français | العربية
High rates of youth unemployment across the Middle East and North Africa were a major catalyst for the Arab Spring revolutions. To help address this pressing issue, the Development Marketplace (DM) is preparing for a country-level competition in Egypt early next year. The proposed DM competition will focus on social entrepreneurs with projects that have a strong impact on creating sustainable job opportunities, especially for low-income and marginalized groups. The main focus of the Egypt DM will be on supporting projects in the agricultural supply chain sector.

Green growth under the desert sun: Solar energy from the Middle East & North Africa

Jonathan Walters's picture
Also available in: العربية | Français
In the 1930s, in the Great Depression, international oil companies were drawn to the newly-formed state of Saudi Arabia, where oil had been discovered.  At first, companies were reluctant to go to a faraway desert kingdom, with little infrastructure, no modern institutions, and few people with technical education.  But the resource looked rich, so importing equipment and engineers, the companies took the plunge.  The rest, as they say, is history.  Saudi Arabia, and much of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), became the preeminent global supplier of oil.

Egypt's elections: A would-be voter's trip to the polls

Khaled Sherif's picture
Also available in: العربية | Français
Yesterday was a special day for many Egyptians. In our district, it was the day you could vote for your district representative in Parliament, something you could never really do before. Well, that's not exactly true. Under the old regime you could vote for your district representative, but he would be from Mubarak's National Democratic Party (NDP) and win with 99 percent of the vote. At least, that's what would happen in our district, exactly the same way the President would win with 99 percent of the vote.

Why growth in MENA is so volatile

Lili Mottaghi's picture
Also available in: Français | العربية
Regional uncertainty in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has brought economic challenges and slower growth.  The weakening global economy due to the Eurozone crisis has lowered the prospects for a rebound next year. A major factor that could affect the growth in MENA is whether a downturn in European Union (EU) affects the price and quantity of oil. Our new report MENA: Eurozone Storm on the Horizon  finds that a looming crisis in the Eurozone could severely impact the region, especially if it is accompanied by lower oil prices.

Transparency, accountability and participation in Iraq: A simple starting point for better governance

Guenter Heidenhof's picture
Also available in: Français | العربية

In a resource rich environment, Iraq faces a significant challenge; the government must apply its resources effectively in order to enhance development and growth. Resource rents also tend to greatly reduce the impetus and motivation for reform.  Couple these issues with a volatile security environment and the problems seem endless.  Against this backdrop, the recent Iraq Transparency, Accountability, and Participation Workshop, held in Beirut on November 16 and 17 provided a platform for Iraq’s government, civil society, and private sector to address these issues and to reach a consensus on the best way forward.

Small & medium sized enterprises: not a silver bullet for growth and job creation

Caroline Freund's picture
Also available in: Français | العربية
Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are being targeted as never before for their potential to stimulate growth and create jobs. Many of the development agencies (World Bank, EBRD, Islamic Development Bank, among others) have plans to expand programs for financing and supporting SMEs. Most recently at the World Economic Forum in Jordan, government officials from countries in the Middle East and North Africa, as well as from the US and EU, talked up their potential for creating jobs in the region. This would be good news if it was true, but a growing body of evidence suggests that SMEs are not the silver bullet that we had hoped for.

Morocco lights the way to a clean-energy future

Inger Andersen's picture
Also available in: Français | العربية
Some countries of the Middle East and North Africa region are once again lighting up a new path. Following the social revolutions which showed the world the effect of combining non-violent protest with new media technology, an energy revolution is now underway. It also utilizes cutting-edge technology with the potential to lead the world into a new energy era. Pointing beyond fossil fuels, this revolution aims to harness an older and more abundant resource: sunshine.

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