By Aalaa Halaka
Dr. Shireen Alazzawi is a lecturer at the economics department of the Leavey Business School, Santa Clara University. She chaired the 2nd plenary session of our 25th annual conference in Kuwait. Following the theme of the plenary session “The role of knowledge in the process of innovation in the global economy”, Dr. Alazzawi highlighted a key takeaway message from the session being that we are at an age where being part of the knowledge economy is not longer an option, but a necessity; especially for the MENA regions.
The changing global economy is changing the prerequisites to development. Dr. Alazzawi argues that traditional development thinking and planning that revolves around transition from agriculture to industry to services should no longer be the followed development directive in the region. Rather, MENA countries must capitalize on the growing knowledge economy to be a part of importance in development planning.
The main challenge to MENA countries, she argues, lies in providing the institutional and policy complementarities. Realizing this early on holds great potential for governments to prepare the future generations with the right human capital and knowledge-based skills that are essential to preparing them for success in the “new global order”.
The Economic Research Forum’s 25th Annual Conference is held in Kuwait City, on 10-12 March, 2019, under the theme of Knowledge, Research Networks, and Development Policy. . Visit the conference website to find out more about the event and access papers, videos and blogs.