Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean

A Few Words from the Vice President, Middle East and North Africa Region, World Bank

Written by Inger Andersen Vice President, Middle East and North Africa on Monday, October 29th 2012 à 13:54 | Read 520 times

These are extraordinary times for citizens in our region. As we are all aware, many opportunities have opened up, and, at the same time, economic and social challenges remain. Much work lies ahead to realize the dreams that underlie the Arab Spring. How can we support the historic social processes underway, processes driven from deep within each country? Partners need to be quick, responsive, and flexible, while being very thoughtful, respectful, and open to diverse points of view.

Inger Andersen, Vice-Présidente, Région du Moyen-Orient et de l'Afrique du Nord, Banque mondiale
Inger Andersen, Vice-Présidente, Région du Moyen-Orient et de l'Afrique du Nord, Banque mondiale
This is precisely where the CMI can add value. It is a place for dialogue, where an open exchange among all stakeholders—from governments, academia, the private sector, and civil society—is esteemed. Through dialogue and engagement, high-quality knowledge products can be fashioned by and disseminated among stakeholders, all of whom are eager for evidence-based public policy choices. 

This annual meeting marks an important milestone for the CMI. It comes two years after the launch of the Center in October 2009. It also comes at a momentous time for the region. It is therefore a good time to assess what the CMI has done well and to reflect on what it can do better, including in the area of advancing regional integration. The Center recently underwent an independent assessment. Based on the results of the assessment, the CMI’s Members, in consultation with its many partners, will determine the future of the Center, its new strategic directions, and its implementation arrangements. 

The CMI has faced and will continue to face the Arab Spring as an honest broker, one willing to consider differing approaches and able to leverage the resources of multiple partners. Its unique platform should allow new programs to emerge to facilitate greater engagement and dialogue between the southern rim and the region. 

Let us now take time to discuss the critical issues at stake for the region, so that a strong and focused CMI can provide leaders in government, the private sector, and civil society with a forum in which to find pragmatic solutions to their most pressing needs.

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