IMF issues magazine on Middle East, North Africa

29 de novembro de 2017

São Paulo – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) released this Wednesday (27) the December issue of its quarterly magazine Finance & Development. Entitled “Middle East in Flux,” the publication approaches the Middle East and North Africa and is available for download from the IMF website.

In an editor’s letter, editor-in-chief Camilla Lund Andersen gives an assessment of the region in the light of the “rapid transformation since the 2011 uprisings,” the so-called Arab Spring. “A period that raised the hopes of millions for a better future and caused despair for millions of others,” she writes.

She believes the only route to prosperity and stability in the region entails institution-building, power-sharing and inclusive growth, which she notes requires “a new social contract between governments and their people.”

The editor-in-chief stresses that many of the demands from people that led to the 2011 protests are still unaddressed. She points out, for example, that 60% of the region’s population are under 30, and that “more jobs and opportunities are essential for future stability.”

Moreover, in addition to claiming hundreds of thousands of lives, conflicts – especially the one in Syria – have caused mass migration and left a trail of destruction.

Andersen remarks, however, that the region offers vast potential, for instance, in renewable energies – which could help reduce the reliance of Arab countries on the production and export of oil –, and the funding of technology startups. The increasing participation of women in the economy is also named as a driver of growth.

“There has never been a more critical time to focus on the region’s untapped potential: its youth, its women, and its entrepreneurial spirit. The price of inaction is simply too high,” said the editor.

The magazine brings articles by Jihad Azour, director of the IMF’s Middle East and Central Asia Department, on the opportunity that the region’s countries have of passing reforms that can secure long-term prosperity; by Marwan Muasher, vice-president for studies at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, on the transformations set in motion by the Arab Spring; and by Rabah Arezki, World Bank MENA Chief Economist, on the diversification of the oil-producing nations’ economies.  

The publication also brings texts by Phil de Imus, Gaëlle Pierre and Björn Rother, also from the IMF’s Middle East and Central Asia Department, on the high costs of the conflicts for the region’s economies; by journalist Campbell MacDiarmid, on the expectations surrounding the impact of digital entrepreneurship in job creation and economic growth; and by Nazila Fathi, author and former correspondent of the North American newspaper New York Times, on the potential of women’s participation to influence growth and the barriers for this to happen.

Click here to download the magazine (English) or here to visit the magazine’s website.

*Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum & Sérgio Kakitani