Thursday, March 6, 2008

Building and strengthening institutions in MENA

This paper highlights the necessity for building and strengthening economic and political institutions to create as many as 100 million new jobs in the next decade to accommodate the increasing number of entrants into the labor force in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) regions. Past inefficient institutions have now made it difficult to manage massive labor force in the region, raising concerns for potential social instability and high youth unemployment. Successful reforms are possible if we build a strong link between democratic governance and market economies, the paper suggests. This includes privatizing the inefficient state-owned monopolies, decentralizing political and economic power, strengthening democratic governance, reforming the increasing labor market and regulations, and stimulating small-level private initiatives, among others.

This reform paper from the Center for International private Enterprise states that for sustained growth and development, the region must reform its economic and political institutions. High on agenda are: responsive governance and vibrant private sector.


  • Building market institutions

  • Developing political institutions

  • Strengthening the rule of law

  • Empowering women and youth

  • Creating space for the private sector

  • Improving access to information

  • Enabling private sector input

  • Combating corruption

Something more on MENA from the paper:

  • GDP growth rate was 6.3% in 2006

  • FDI was $24.4 billion in 2007- a 40% y-on-y increase and 3x larger than in 2004

  • Morocco experienced drought in 2007, the only country to suffer from drought in MENA in 2007

  • The region ranks bottom in political freedom and governance indicators

P.S.: Today I am attending a conference on "Linking Agriculture, Development and Migration: A Critical Look at NAFTA Past, Present, and Future" in D.C. I already attended one session and will attend one more in the afternoon. Interesting stuff about NAFTA and how policy makers from the US, Mexico, and Canada feel about the current trade agreement. Check back later for a summary of the conference proceedings. Pretty novel and justifiable ideas have been floated. High on agenda and buzz words are: Inequality, and Renegotiation.