Having spent much of my working life working with and in countries in transition, it remains painful to watch the disillusionment that so often strikes people that had the courage to change a bad…

Antonius Verheijen |

I had the privilege recently to spend an unscheduled hour of discussion with a group of young Tunisians who were visiting our offices. As often, on these occasions it is hard not to get captured…

Antonius Verheijen |

In the build up to the Arab uprisings, data was doing its part to deceive those who follow the region closely. Tunisia and Egypt provide great examples. Both nations closed the first decade of the…

Mohamed Younis |

The events of the Arab Spring took the world by surprise: there were no obvious signs of an approaching storm in the Levant and the Maghreb. Objective measures—used on a regular basis—showed that…

Elena Ianchovichina, Martijn Burger, Efstratia Arampatzi |

. World Bank Chief Economist for the Middle East and North Africa, Shanta Devarajan discusses potential economic scenarios for the region.

Shanta Devarajan |

What makes smart politicians?  Jeffrey Frankel has an idea.   His recent blog examines the allure, and trap, of universal subsidies.   For one thing, they know that pulling the plug on bad…

Heba Elgazzar |

Seven countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region --Egypt, Tunisia, Iran, Lebanon, Jordan, Yemen and Libya (MENA 7)--are facing similar economic problems:  i) volatile growth that…

Lili Mottaghi |

The answer is a conditional ‘Yes’, depending on whether they can accelerate the pace of the structural reforms needed to boost growth in Egypt, Tunisia, Iran, Lebanon, Jordan, Yemen and Libya. A…

Lili Mottaghi |

Following Russia’s annexation of Crimea after the popular voting in early March, the European Union and recently the U.S. and Canada have imposed their first round of sanctions—an asset freeze and…

Lili Mottaghi |

        One day on a recent mission to Tripoli, Libya – after an early start and a hectic morning of meetings – I went with the World Bank’s Representative to a wonderful Turkish Restaurant in the…

Simon Bell |