Challenges to development in the MENA region - Economic Research Forum (ERF)

Challenges to development in the MENA region

Challenges to development in the MENA region

Atif Kubursi is Professor Emeritus of Economics at McMaster University. After the first plenary session at ERF 24th Annual Conference we had the opportunity to record a short video interview with him and capture his impressions form the session.

According to Prof. Kabursi, the Arab region is facing tremendous challenges, particularly in a globalized world and for the negative impact of oil. The so called Arab disease is more dangerous than the Dutch disease. The Dutch had education and great relationship with a rich, diversified neighbourhood. The MENA region is a very poor neighbourhood, economies are not diversified, many parts are totally destabilized politically. Political causes are derailing the capacity to progress and develop the region.


Prof. Kabursi concludes that the ERF Annual Conferences are a very important gathering, as they bring together a rich group of researchers from the MENA region and outside, to look at issues and problems, and possible solution, from a strong evidence base.


The Economic Research Forum’s 24th Annual Conference is held in Cairo, Egypt, on 8-10 July, 2018. The main theme of the plenary sessions is “The New Normal in the Global Economy: Challenges and Prospects for MENA”. The conference aims to draw on the lessons learned from the restructuring of the economic order across the region, particularly in light of the wide-ranging consequences of the decline in oil prices. With social turbulence and conflict persist in several MENA countries, the main goal is adequately reconciling short-term social and economic concerns with long-term growth and reform efforts. Visit the conference website to find out more about the event and access papers, videos and blogs.