Published on Arab Voices

Thank you all and let’s keep it alive!

Over 600 people across the world joined me today in the first Live Web Chat in Arabic and English hosted by the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region of the World Bank.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I appreciate your time, your seriousness, your passion and the very clear commitment in all your comments and questions. I am convinced that embracing social media technology platforms to enable our dialogue and discussion with you is the right way to go and I salute all the young people in MENA who have stood out as such a creative example in these communication spaces. We have learned so much from you.

For those who missed our chat do have a look at this page. For those of you who joined me, I’m sure you saw how fast the comments rolled in. With help from my colleagues typing on either side of me, one in Arabic, the other in English, we did our best. But this is just a start.

I will carefully examine your ideas and I will ask my colleagues with their different specialties at the World Bank to do the same. I intend to write a series of blogs on your comments, probably grouping them into themes and also answering any questions that we didn’t get to in the time afforded us. My colleagues will pick up in areas where they can contribute.

And we will convene another chat soon, at a country level perhaps and certainly we owe our French speaking citizens of the region a French and Arabic combo (I’m not sure I can do all three languages at once!).

Today was richly rewarding and demonstrated so clearly the power of debate and discussion and the value that so many people have to share. Let’s keep this alive.


Inger Andersen

Former Vice President, Middle East & North Africa

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