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MENA region: Growth and new Thinking Needed

Publish Date: 9/2/2022 4:51:27 PM

 By Bob Rabboh 

 This article highlights the population explosion in the above region, as well as some of major problems. Countless studies show that after seven decades, the region still looking for economic growth model. That said, formal colonization of the MiddleEast ended seven decades ago, the region unable to find a clear model or path to growth. The facts are described and analyzed.

1.0 Youth explosion. the MENA population grew from 100 million in 1950 to 430 million people today, whereas more than half of the population lives in Egypt, Sudan, Iraq and Yemen. In addition, the region is expected to nearly double by 2045, meanwhile, 30 million young Arabs will enter the labor by 2033. The demographic trend suggests the region needs to create more than 300 million jobs by 2050.

2.0 Income Inequality - wealth gap between countries is greater in the region than in others because it has some of the world's richest countries, as well as some of the poorest, such as Yemen. Hence, income inequality is not only problem, the uneven picture means that 2020 protest in Algeria

3.0 Lost more than decade of growth since 2009 to present. The region's average economic growth 50 percent lower than the previous decade. For example, youth unemployment has worsened significantly and unable to overcome the significant barriers to trade and economic cooperation across regional borders.

4.0 Civil war, conflicts and fragmentation of governance for example Libya, that have weakened state institutions, Dr estates the economy, created split in economic and financial systems, and destroyed the country's infrastructures. Along with structural factors conflict has had a debilitating effect on economic growth. In 2017, the World Bank noted that the Syrian war had killed approximately 500,000 people, displaced 10 million and 25 percent in poverty.

5.0 The MENA region is regarded the most unequal in the world, with the top 10 percent of its people wealth, accounting for 75 percent of wealth, although the average masks enormous differences from country to country. Further, poverty and its attendant inequalities are a long term threats to stability in the region. Lebanon and Iraq cannot be explained by a blanket story of income inequality.

It is reasonable to conclude that large population would normally be regarded an economic blessing, it's become bane of the MENA region. Also, it is the failure of the Arab states to deliver social justice is ultimately rooted in the failure of development model based on heavy state intervention in the economy and increasingly buyouts of local opportunities through welfare entitlements.

Creativity and courage will be needed if the Arab World is to meet the expectation and the challenges posed by increasing income inequality and population explosion.

Professor Bob Rabboh, can be reached by email: brabboh@gmail.com . The opinions expressed in our published works are those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions of الحوادث Al Hawadeth Newspaper, Al Hawadeth for Arab Americans, alhawadeth.net or their Editors.

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