Unleashing the Middle East’s Economic Potential

As the Middle East and North Africa wrestle with a number of security and geopolitical challenges, subtle societal shifts–such as increased access to technology and a youth boom–can create an opportunity for economic revitalization in the region. As much as these energies can contribute to popular unrest, they can also lead to a technologically driven entrepreneurship with the potential to transform transitioning economies.

The Middle East Strategy Task Force, a project of the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center, employed the talents of policy experts in the region and across the globe to compile a report on a strategy to utilize human capital to drive dramatic changes in regulatory, financial, trade, and educational systems to overcome entrenched political and business interests. Such changes would release enormous positive potential and potentially spark an economic revolution. 

The ramifications on entrepreneurship for economic growth and job creation are readily apparent in examples across the world. Such enterprises not only experience higher and faster growth because of the low costs inherent in starting a business and reaching and marketing to new customers, but offer a multiplier effect of creating new investment and new entrepreneurs as enterprises succeed. Such enterprises are similarly the largest and most successful job creators.

The report goes on to examine opportunities in education and education technology, private sector engagement, and the importance of developing the right regulatory climate. It offers recommendations on how to build a world-class education system and the appropriate legal regime through local and international partnerships to meet the needs of the twenty-first century. To read the report, please click the button below.

Image: Samarra, Iraq, February 2016. (Reuters)