The COVID-19 pandemic has offered a dramatic test case for the effectiveness of digital solutions across the Middle East and North Africa region, from the Ocean to the Gulf. Together with universal and affordable broadband, the widespread availability of cashless payments is a key enabler for digital transformation and a driver for economic recovery. The objective of this webinar, organized in partnership with the Arab Monetary Fund, is to increase awareness of how digital payments can support job creation, enhanced service delivery, and inclusion of youth and women. This webinar is the second of the MENA Tech talk series, which aims to engage with high-level decision makers, policymakers, regulators, private sector business leaders, and influencers, to share a vision and strategies to successfully foster digital transformation in the region. The event will be livestreamed and will offer simultaneous interpretation in Arabic, English, and French. It will include a panel discussion and testimonials from civil society organizations and the private sector, ...
Islamic finance has been growing rapidly across the globe. According to a recent report, the Islamic finance market currently stands around $1.9 trillion. With this growth, its application has been extended into many areas—trade, real estate, manufacturing, banking, infrastructure, and more. However, it is still a relatively untapped market for public-private partnership (PPP) financing. A new PPIAF-funded report by the World Bank Group and the Islamic Development Bank Group represents the first systematic effort to capture and disseminate knowledge on deploying Islamic finance for infrastructure PPPs. Our discussion will address how Islamic finance has already been applied in infrastructure projects through PPP schemes, what are the structural challenges and solutions, and what can be done to deepen and maximize the use of Islamic finance for this purpose. To see the detailed agenda, please click here. Visit Our Partners:
The relationship between citizens and governments is at the heart of effective service delivery and vital for stable and resilient societies. Rebuilding this relationship is critical as countries in the Middle East and North Africa seek to renew the social contract. Join regional policy makers, practitioners and civil society representatives for a discussion on what it will take to instill adequate accountability and motivation among public servants and service providers toward meeting citizens’ needs. The event will focus on education and health, and explore how weak external and internal accountability relationships prevalent in political and administrative spheres in the region undermine incentives toward policy implementation and performance. To motivate the search for solutions, the discussion will also include first-hand accounts of local success stories. These stories reveal how some communities have managed, often despite difficult circumstances, to attain extraordinary outcomes using innovative local solutions to prevailing problems.
The Arab Spring was driven by young people demanding jobs and protesting the regimes in power. While the leaders fell in four of the five countries, the aftermath of the Arab Spring has been characterized by civil war, sectarian violence, political turmoil and, in some cases, the return of a strong state to restore peace and stability. Economic growth has slowed and unemployment has increased. What can be done now to meet the aspirations of the young men and women who marched in the streets in 2010-11 demanding “bread, freedom and dignity?” Join us live on November 19, 2014 with professor Juan Cole for a panel discussion chaired by World Bank Vice President for MENA Inger Anderson, on his new book : “The New Arabs: How the Millennial Generation is Changing the Middle East”
High unemployment in the Middle East & North Africa region, especially among young people and women, has been largely due to the lack of private-sector jobs. Yet, almost every country has pursued policies ostensibly aimed at stimulating the private sector and creating jobs. Recent research shows, however, that economic policies in MENA countries often limited competition and instead created monopoly rents to politically-connected firms. Join us on October 10th 2014 for a lively debate with policymakers, researchers, business people and civil society members to discuss both the implications of the research and the way forward in addressing MENA's unemployment problems.