Sep 23

Past Event

After the Arab Spring: What’s Next for the Economies of the Middle East and North Africa

Event Materials



  • Jobs Are Priority One for Countries of the Arab Spring

    Dirk Niebel, Minister for Economic Cooperation & Development, Germany: The Arab Spring, like fall of communism in 1989, means new opportunity. These countries need jobs, private sector support and good governance to help ensure their success.

  • Politics & Economics will Build Systems

    Kemal Dervis: There is an interaction between politics and economics in the U.S. and in Europe that should be replicated in the Arab Spring countries to help them build the systems they’ll need going forward.

    Kemal Derviş

  • Equal Rights for Women Will Boost Economic Growth

    Gunilla Carlsson, Minister for International Development Cooperation, Sweden: The Arab Spring movement holds great promise for women in terms of jobs, access and equality: securing the rights of women is smart economics especially in these countries.

  • Egypt’s Progress Will Come From Politics

    Ahmed Galal, Economic Research Forum: There really isn’t much that any interim government can do. Egypt should move forward with the understanding that real progress isn’t going to come from its economic plan but its political plan.

  • Facing Tunisia’s Challenges

    Mustapha Nabli, Central Bank of Tunisia: Tunisia is facing a lot of challenges. The best way to address the many issues ahead is by focusing on governance issue and strengthening our political process.


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With many countries in the Arab world experiencing popular protests and regime change, much of the focus of the international community and media has been the region’s political transition from autocratic rule to democracy. However, the economic transition that many of these countries now face is also critical for the future growth and development of their economies and the prosperity and well-being of their citizens. The international community and Arab leaders must now closely examine what reforms these countries need to take on in order to ensure an economic transition that creates jobs, attracts investment and turns these nations into globally competitive economies.

On September 23, Global Economy and Development at Brookings hosted a discussion on the economic transition of Middle East and North African countries post-Arab Spring and the role that Arab governments and the international community have guiding these economic reforms. Mustapha Nabli, central bank governor of Tunisia and Ahmed Galal, managing director of the Economic Research Forum, made opening remarks on the efforts needed to spur economic growth in the region. Gunilla Carlsson, Sweden’s minister for international development cooperation and Dirk Niebel, Germany’s minister for economic cooperation and development, responded with their perspective of the efforts of the international community. Vice President Kemal Derviş, director of Global Economy and Development, moderated the discussion.

After the program, the participants took audience questions.

Event Agenda

  • Moderator

  • Featured Speakers

    • Ahmed Galal

      Managing Director

      Economic Research Forum

    • Mustapha Nabli


      Central Bank of Tunisia

  • Panelists

    • Gunilla Carlsson

      Minister for International Development Cooperation

      Kingdom of Sweden

    • Dirk Niebel

      Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development

      Federal Republic of Germany


September 23, 2011

12:30 PM - 2:00 PM EDT

The Brookings Institution

Falk Auditorium

1775 Massachusetts Ave., NW


For More Information

Brookings Office of Communications

(202) 797-6105