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Global Economy

My chat with the MENA youth

Yasser El-Gammal's picture
Also available in: العربية
                    

On Monday, September 17th, I had an online chat with a number of youth in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region on the topic of jobs and employment. I received hundreds of comments and questions before the chat, interacted with tens during an hour and a half and kept receiving comments and questions for two days after the chat. The process had a deep impact on me. It was refreshing, amazing, encouraging but also concerning.

Why jobless? The growth pattern

Caroline Freund's picture
Also available in: Français | العربية
       

High unemployment in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) largely reflects the growth deficit.  While China has been growing at 10 percent for a decade and has unemployment below 5 percent. MENA is the mirror image, growing at 5 percent and suffering unemployment above 10 percent. The absence of strong growth in MENA has been a serious constraint to employment. It's worth noting though that MENA’s employment situation is not accurately described by the jobless growth that has plagued much of the industrial world in recent years.

Tough times to be job-hunting...just not everywhere

Omer Karasapan's picture
       

Unemployment, cronyism, bad governance and lack of transparency and accountability were factors that have contributed to the Arab Spring. However, worries over employment stem beyond the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and the challenges facing southern Mediterranean countries like Greece, Spain, Portugal and other troubled EU economies. A Gallup poll provides a global perspective on this issue

Governance and Public Sector employment in the Middle East and North Africa

Lida Bteddini's picture
Also available in: Français | العربية
        World Bank | Arne Hoel

Recent events across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region have underscored the urgent need to ensure job creation and an enabling environment for a young and better-educated, more skilled labor force.  The international economic crisis has further deepened the problem in a region that is characterized by the world’s highest youth unemployment rate and the lowest female labor force participation.

Peering through a hole in the wall: A vision of a future Palestinian economy

John Nasir's picture
Also available in: العربية

Driving through the Wall that hems in the Palestinian city of Ramallah I am always struck by the number of high-rise buildings under construction, the numerous expensive cars and latest cafes.  To the eye it appears that Ramallah is a rapidly growing capital of a booming middle-income country.  However, I know that this is a mirage.  It masks the dire poverty in Gaza, in the rural areas of the West Bank and in the refugee camps that dot the countryside. The minute one passes through the checkpoint into Gaza – something few people get to do – the expensive cars are gone, replaced by donkey carts, piles of trash and the misery of a captive population. 

The overlooked business education in MENA

Nadereh Chamlou's picture
Also available in: Français

The Financial Times issued its ranking of the world’s top 70 executive business programs. Nearly all successful emerging economies are on the list, as are advanced economies, but no program in MENA has made the list.  Several countries have multiple programs represented in their domain, such as Chile, Brazil, Mexico, South Korea, Singapore, to name a few.  Executive programs are an important indicator for future top management and leadership role jobs.   

Growth strengthens in MENA, but vulnerabilities persist

Elena Ianchovichina's picture

Our latest regional outlook shows a two-track path for growth in MENA. In 2012 oil exporters are likely to fare much better than oil importers in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Growth of MENA’s oil exporting countries will be strong and rise from the average of 3.4 percent in 2011 to 5.4 percent in 2012. The new Regional Economic Update presents the outlook for MENA in the context of rapidly-evolving global and domestic environments, recognizing the linkages that matter for shaping country-specific outlooks and the multiple risks that could alter them.

Is “the Egyptian botagas story” running out of gas?

Vladislav Vucetic's picture
Also available in: Français | العربية

Kim Eun YeulEveryone in Egypt has a botagas story. If you walk the busy and pleasantly noisy Cairo streets, as I often do in the early evening during my visits, you pass scores of fast-food shops, cafés, and makeshift tea stands, their bluish botagas flames burning steadily in the fading light. I am sure their owners have many botagas stories to tell. Newspapers often run these stories as well, usually with a photo of a queue of people with mixed expressions – a few smiling faces leaving with heavy bottles and many more anxiously waiting to try their luck. My colleague Khaled tells his own story in the accompanying “botagas” blog and it also ends on an unhappy note: botagas is not easy to get nowadays. So, what is behind these unhappy botagas stories?

Enabling employment miracles

Caroline Freund's picture
Also available in: العربية | Français
World Bank | Arne Hoel | 2011How can policymakers engineer enduring reductions in unemployment? Middle East and North Africa’s (MENA) Regional Economic Update confronts this question head on. It looks back historically to examine how countries have generated episodes of swift, significant, and sustained unemployment reductions. These we call employment miracles. And to make miracles happen the analysis unambiguously points towards prudent macroeconomic management, sound regulation and good governance as critical enablers of job creation.

Tourism: For those looking for shovel ready projects

Omer Karasapan's picture
Also available in: Français
World Bank | Dale Lautenbach | 2012Tourism is one of the world's largest and fastest growing sectors, making up 5% of the world's GDP and 30% of the global export of services (over $1 trillion). In 2010 alone, there were some 1 billion tourists worldwide, 60 million of whom traveled to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. International Tourism receipts amounted to $900 billion - MENA's share making up roughly 6% of the total, around $50 billion. Overall, MENA tends to underperform slightly, not only in terms of the number of visitors and monetary inflows, but also in its potential to generate employment.   

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