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A roadmap for youth inclusion

Gloria La Cava's picture
Also available in: Français
World Bank | Arne HoelAfter 2 years of continuous work, 10 missions to Rabat, 6 steering committee meetings, 1050 emails, the Arab Spring, and the historic changes with a new Moroccan Constitution and Government; we finally arrived at D-Day: the official launch of our "Promoting Opportunities and Youth Participation" report on May 14, at the Hay Nahda Conference Center, Rabat. This invaluable validation is the outcome of an extensive process and the report, much awaited by all youth stakeholders, is finally seeing light. 

The universal language of trade, Part II

Will Stebbins's picture
Also available in: Français
The last few years have been sobering for the Maghreb.  The sudden drop off in demand from the European Union, as a result of the financial crisis, was a stark lesson in the perils of over reliance on a single trading partner, no matter how large. It also revealed how the lack of integration left the region fully exposed to external shocks. The rise of youth unemployment, and the manifestation of popular discontent in the ‘Arab Spring,’ has also made economic growth a priority, as the only way to satisfy the demand for more and better opportunities. 

Level 4 Uncertainty

Caroline Freund's picture
World Bank | Arne HoelOn a recent layover in Frankfurt airport, the Harvard Business Review (HBR) magazine caught my eye.  On the cover is a ball of tangled wires in red, yellow, green and purple under the words “Managing Uncertainty” in large bold print.  The magazine was positioned strategically behind a counter of recent nonfiction, prominently displaying the book:  Europa Braucht den Euro Nicht (Europe doesn’t need the Euro). My trip was during the week when results from Egypt’s Presidential election were hanging in the balance. 

The Arab World and some winning novels in 2012

Omer Karasapan's picture

As we all watch the  events unfolding in the Middle East, transfixed by the politics and social and economic ramifications of it all, it occurred to me that it might not be a bad idea to look at what the Arab World was reading by way of fiction. I could not locate a best-sellers list covering the region but work on putting together such a regional list is ongoing. So I turned to the 5th International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF), a literary prize managed by the Booker Prize Foundation in London, and funded by the Emirates Foundation in Abu Dhabi. The prize is for prose fiction by Arabic authors, very much like the Man Booker Prize in the UK.

Join our team: Seeking young talented Arabic speakers

Inger Andersen's picture
Also available in: العربية
Photo: Arne Hoel l World Bank  2012

 I am very pleased to announce the launch of a new recruitment drive for Arabic speakers, called the SMART (Strategic MNA Arabic Recruitment of Talent) program, which will provide a small cohort of the best and brightest Arabic speakers with a unique opportunity to pursue a career at the Bank.  We are very excited to introduce young, dynamic professionals to the MENA region of the World Bank and in this small way contribute to the expansion of the Arab talent in the World Bank’s MENA Region.

The universal language of trade

Will Stebbins's picture
Also available in: Français
There was a brief moment of confusion at the opening of the ministerial workshop on regional trade in the Maghreb. Habib Ben Yahia, the secretary general of the Arab Maghreb Union, wondered out loud about which language he should use. Before him was a diverse audience that he could address in Arabic, French, English? What to choose?  Sitting next to him, the Moroccan minister of transport and equipment, Aziz Rabbah nailed it: ‘Speak the language of trade! ’

Part 2: Egypt’s “Botagas Story"

Vladislav Vucetic's picture
Also available in: العربية
My previous blog discussed the causes of the “botagas crisis” in Egypt. I argued that the root cause has been an indiscriminate subsidization of fuel consumption through below-cost pricing. This has mainly benefited affluent households, which has led to overconsumption, uneconomic investments, enormous and unsustainable fiscal cost (reported to be over 130 billion Egyptian pounds – or more than US$21 billion -- for the coming fiscal year), near-bankruptcy of fuel suppliers, and fuel supply shortages. I also argued that such policy has been neither socially just nor economically sound.

A view from Al-Muthanna: Iraq’s poorest province

Marie-Helene Bricknell's picture
Barbry Keller, Sr. Country Officer for Iraq, and I travelled to Al-Muthanna in May after a very interesting trip to Basrah. We left at dawn and travelled on a superb dual carriageway to Iraq’s poorest region.  Along the way, we witnessed first-hand the disastrous impact on the environment of Saddam’s retaliatory policies on the marshlands.  Drained marshes were evident on either side of the road. What was once fertile land is now a desert gray filled with countless plastic bags, burnt out wrecks of cars, tanks and some other undetermined debris with trickles of water evident here and there but nothing like the lush plains it must have once been.

The Arab World in 2030

Omer Karasapan's picture
World Bank | Arne HoelIn 2010, the European Commission undertook a pilot project to explore the possibility of establishing “an inter-institutional system identifying long-term trends in major policy issues facing the EU.” The pilot’s findings are included in Global Trends 2030: Citizens in an Interconnected and Polycentric World. The report identifies three major global trends: 1) The growing empowerment of individuals driven by a growing middle class; 2) Stronger human development trends but persistent challenges in inequality, climate change and resource scarcity; and 3) An increasingly polycentric world that is faced with governance gaps as interstate mechanisms fail to respond to global public goods.

From the outskirts of Basra...

Barbry Keller's picture
When Marie-Helene Bricknell, the World Bank’s Special Representative in Baghdad and I arrived on the outskirts of Basra, the largest city in Southern Iraq, my immediate impression was that I had landed in Mordor from Tolkien's Lord Of the Rings Trilogy.  The landscape was bleak with sand and dust, and the horizon was filled with black smoke and bright yellow flames from burning oil wells. On our first night, I went for a run in the compound (a former military base) and struggled to breathe in the dirty air. I wondered how ordinary Iraqis managed under these bleak conditions.