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January 25th: A Date to Remember in the Arab World

Wael Zakout's picture
Also available in: Français | العربية
January 25th
Photo: "January 25th is the best and most honorable day in the history of Egypt"

In the World Bank office in Cairo, there is a beautiful poster that proclaims January 25th as the best day in history. I do not know its origin, but it looks like a drawing made in the heart of Cairo’s Tahrir Square during the January 25th revolution. Three years later, January 25th has a deep meaning in modern Arab history. 

High-Speed internet and the Values of the Arab Spring

Joulan Abdul Khalek's picture
Also available in: Français | العربية
High-Speed Internet and the values of the Arab spring

I remember once at a conference in Tunisia being asked by a young member of parliament why it made sense to invest in a fiber optic cable to a remote village in Djerba instead of improving more basic services such as electricity grids or water irrigation. The interesting thing is that the two are not mutually exclusive, as most of the times conventional infrastructure projects also have the capacity to deliver fiber at a small incremental cost. But at the time I answered that investing in internet infrastructure should not only be seen as an economic activity but also as an extension of the values of the “Arab Spring”.

Lowering Barriers to High Speed Internet in the Arab World

Michel Rogy's picture
Also available in: العربية | Français
Lowering Barriers to High Speed Internet in the Arab World
This blog post was first published on the ICT blog.

On affordability grounds alone, millions of people in the Middle East and North Africa region could be excluded from today’s information revolution. Meeting this challenge has become a top regional priority. Many countries in the Arab world have identified broadband Internet as a critical input to the broader objective of nation building and the transition to a knowledge-based economy.http://www.worldbank.org/en/region/mena/publication/broadband-networks-in-mna

Development could be a click away in the Arab World

Junaid Kamal Ahmad's picture
Also available in: العربية | Français
Video Blog
​Junaid Kamal Ahmad, World Bank Director of Sustainable Development for the Middle East and North Africa, discusses the immense potential for high speed internet to be an engine of development in the region. This is the focus of the forthcoming report, “Broadband Networks in the Middle East and North Africa: Accelerating High-Speed Internet Access.”  

Yemen: Looking beyond the National Dialogue

Wael Zakout's picture
Also available in: العربية | Français
Yemen
Boy with Flag. Photo credit: Al Jazeera English

With the successful conclusion of the National Dialogue Conference (NDC), Yemen has demonstrated both to the region and the world that there is another way of dealing with conflict and grievances. One clear outcome of the NDC is a political transition  based on dialogue rather than confrontation. The challenge now will be to convert this outcome into meaningful results for the people of Yemen. 

The DIQA initiative: Supporting the silent data revolution in the Arab world

Sebastian Trenner's picture
Also available in: العربية | Français

DIQA - Photo: Arne Hoel/World Bank

Statistical agencies in the Middle East and North Africa have now started to open up access to their raw datasets (micro-data). In a break with their old ways, they have begun either to post them on their websites or to share them on a bilateral basis. To support this wind of change, a group of donors active in the statistical domain and avant-garde partner countries joined forces for the first time to launch the Data Improvement and Quality in Access initiative (DIQA – which reads as “precision” in Arabic).

Accountability for Public Services: Do You See a Solution?

Hana Brixi's picture
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Accountability for Public Services: Do You See a Solution? - Photo: Arne Hoel

“Kefaya!”

“Kefaya!” (“Enough!” in Arabic), was one of the main slogans in 2011 as people took to the streets and called for social justice.  Although change has taken various forms across the region, the quest for social justice remains prevalent throughout.

One of the key ways to promote social justice is through better public services. As surveys suggest, social justice for citizens largely means equal access to quality public services such as healthcare and education.

Egypt: Subsidy reform and social safety nets are 2 sides of same coin

Guest Blogger's picture

Egypt: Subsidy reform and social safety nets are 2 sides of same coin - Photo: Emad Abd El Hady

Egyptian writer and commentator Bassem Sabry talks to Hartwig Schafer, World Bank Director for Djibouti, Egypt and Yemen about the economic challenges facing Cairo.

Sabry: What do you think are the questions that are missing from the discussion on Egypt right now?

Schafer: I think the question is, what is the priority right now for Egypt? If we go back two and a half years, the revolution was basically the result of growing exclusion and inequality. And that is still, in my view, the top priority.

The Possibility of Social Inclusion: Yemen's National Dialogue

Junaid Kamal Ahmad's picture
Also available in: Français | العربية

The Possibility of Social Inclusion: Yemen's National Dialogue

This Blog was originally posted on the World Bank Voices Blog
The National Dialogue is an important moment in Yemen’s rich history.  It has brought together political parties, social groups, women, youth, and regional representation around a dialogue to craft the future of Yemen.


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