CFR Presents

Development Channel

Issues and innovations in global economic development

Posts by Category

Showing posts for "Middle East and North Africa"

Women Starting Up the Middle East

by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
A woman films with her iPad in Bahrain, January 2012 (Courtesy Reuters/Hamad I Mohammed). A woman films with her iPad in Bahrain, January 2012 (Courtesy Reuters/Hamad I Mohammed).

Every year, the World Economic Forum publishes its Global Gender Gap Report, tracking the world’s progress toward eliminating gender inequality. This year’s report, published in October, included some good news: in the nearly 140 countries counted, more than 90 percent of the divide in health and education has been closed. Still, there remains a huge gender gap in economic participation, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, where men are 60 percent more economically empowered than women.

Read more »

Is a Start-Up Spring Coming to the Middle East?

by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
Young entrepreneurs at Oasis 500, a seed investment firm based in Amman, Jordan that finances start-ups in the Middle East, November 2011. (Courtesy Reuters/Muhammad Hamed). Young entrepreneurs at Oasis 500, a seed investment firm based in Amman, Jordan that finances start-ups in the Middle East, November 2011. (Courtesy Reuters/Muhammad Hamed).

The Middle East is seldom associated with the start-up world. When thinking of the region, few imagine entrepreneurs working away, hustling to secure funding and find customers for their fledgling businesses. But that image is increasingly a reality. Read more »

New Insights on the Relationship Between Democracy and Wealth

by Terra Lawson-Remer
Protesters in Cairo rally against Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, February 22, 2013 (Asmaa Waguih/Courtesy Reuters). Protesters in Cairo rally against Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, February 22, 2013 (Asmaa Waguih/Courtesy Reuters).

Do the chances of democracy’s success in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, or Myanmar depend on each country’s wealth? And does China’s growing prosperity portend a democratic transition there anytime soon?

Read more »

Sports, Gender Equality, and Development

by Terra Lawson-Remer
Saudi Arabia's Jeddah United (in white) shake hands with Jordan's Al Reyadeh before their friendly basketball game in Amman on April 21, 2009 (Ali Jarekji/Courtesy Reuters). Saudi Arabia's Jeddah United (in white) shake hands with Jordan's Al Reyadeh before their friendly basketball game in Amman on April 21, 2009 (Ali Jarekji/Courtesy Reuters).

As my colleague Isobel Coleman wrote last week, Saudi Arabia has just leaped a small hurdle towards gender equality: announcing last week that it will allow female athletics in private schools. Until now girls have been prohibited from playing sports as a part of formal education. The move comes on the heels of last year’s decision to allow two Saudi women to compete in the Olympics for the first time in the country’s history.

Read more »

New From CFR: Isobel Coleman on Aid to Egypt

by Isobel Coleman
A farmer holds out grains of wheat in his hands during a harvest on a field in the El-Menoufia governorate, about 9.94 km (58 miles) north of Cairo, Egypt, April 23, 2013 (Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Courtesy Reuters). A farmer holds out grains of wheat in his hands during a harvest on a field in the El-Menoufia governorate, about 9.94 km (58 miles) north of Cairo, Egypt, April 23, 2013 (Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Courtesy Reuters).

On the new Ask CFR Experts feature today, I consider the question of whether the United States should continue economic aid to Egypt. “The answer,” I write, “is a resounding yes.” Read more »

Governance and Growth in the Arab Transitions

by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
A man waits for tourists to visit his souvenir shop in Carthage, near Tunis, Tunisia February 10, 2013 (Zoubeir Souissi/Courtesy Reuters). A man waits for tourists to visit his souvenir shop in Carthage, near Tunis, Tunisia on February 10, 2013 (Zoubeir Souissi/Courtesy Reuters).

Examining the economic fallout of the Arab uprisings is critical as societies struggle to move past the upheaval and fight for a measure of stability and security. Read more »

Is the IMF Fighting for Social Justice in Egypt?

by Terra Lawson-Remer
An Egyptian protester holds a loaf of state subsidized bread during a demonstration against the International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegation visit, in front of the General-Prosecutor's office in Cairo, April 3, 2013 (Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Courtesy Reuters). An Egyptian protester holds a loaf of state subsidized bread during a demonstration against the International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegation visit, in front of the General-Prosecutor's office in Cairo, April 3, 2013 (Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Courtesy Reuters).

This week a team from the International Monetary Fund is in Cairo yet again, attempting to reach agreement with the Egyptian government on a $4.8 billion loan to plug Egypt’s increasingly serious external financing gap and budget deficit. Egypt’s foreign currency reserves—in precipitous decline as the Central Bank continues to prop up the exchange rate in efforts to avoid skyrocketing costs for wheat and other staple imports—have dropped from more than $36 billion in early 2011 to less than $14 billion at the end of MarchRead more »

New From CFR: Ban Ki-moon’s Views and the G-20′s Role

by Development Channel Staff

This week CFR hosted two events on issues relevant to the global development landscape. On Monday, UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon delivered the Sorensen Distinguished Lecture on the United Nations (available in video, audio, and transcript form). He focused in part on the struggle to build inclusive democracy in Syria and across the Middle East. As he argued: Read more »