Knowledge Economies in the Middle East and North Africa: Toward New Development Strategies

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Jean-Eric Aubert, Jean-Louis Reiffers
World Bank Publications, Jan 1, 2003 - Business & Economics - 82 pages
The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has been facing considerable economic challenges. Left behind by the industrial revolution, overly dependent on oil resources, and on the fringes of the globalization process, a number of MENA countries have embarked on structural reforms to overcome economic stagnation, mounting unemployment, and increasing poverty. At the same time, there is growing awareness worldwide that the knowledge revolution offers new opportunities for growth resulting from the availability of information and communication technologies and from the advent of a new form of global economic development rooted in the concept of the knowledge economy, which is based on the creation, acquisition, distribution, and use of knowledge. This book, developed from papers prepared for a World Bank sponsored conference, assesses the challenges confronting the regionA's countries and analyzes their readiness for the knowledge economy based on a set of indicators. It provides quantitative analysis to help benchmark the countries against worldwide knowledge economy trends, identifies key implementation issues, and presents relevant policy experiences. The basic policy elements that underpin a strategy to prepare for a knowledge-based economy are discussed, including: the renovation of education systems, the creation of a climate conducive to innovation, and the development of an efficient telecommunications infrastructure as the foundation of a new era. The formulation of national visions and strategies is also discussed. Examples from the region and other parts of the world illustrate the chapters. A set of data that makes it possible to benchmark and position countriesA' readiness for the knowledge economy is presented in an appendix.

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Page 11 - ... consultants, and other organizations that can tap into the growing stock of global knowledge, assimilate and adapt it to local needs, and create new technology Included in the KAM also are several variables that track the overall performance of the economy.
Page 11 - An effective innovation system comprising a network of firms, research centers, universities, think tanks, consultants, and other organizations that can tap into the growing stock of global knowledge, assimilate and adapt it to local needs, and create new knowledge or technologies.
Page 50 - Middle East and North Africa includes Afghanistan, Algeria, Arab Republic of Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, Turkey, Yemen Arab Republic, People's Democratic Republic of Yemen, and United Arab Emirates. • East Asia comprises all low- and middleincome countries of East and Southeast Asia and the Pacific, east of, and including, Burma, China, and Mongolia. • South Asia includes...
Page 28 - Voice and accountability Political stability and absence of violence Government effectiveness Regulatory quality Rule of law Control of corruption...
Page 15 - Union, highly dependent on agriculture and low-end manufacturing, can successfully turn its economy into a provider of high-technology services. Ireland's transformation is attributable to sustained and well-targeted investment in education and to a policy framework favorable to FDI, notably in the ICT sector.
Page 4 - Rapid growth in mobile phones has compensated for the relative underequipment in fixed lines but has, at the same time, slowed the establishment of the infrastructure needed for the Internet, which is used by less than 1 percent of the population in most MENA countries.
Page 15 - Today, it is the headquarters of many European technology giants, and Dublin has taken advantage of its well-developed network infrastructure to become the hub for European telephone call centers.
Page 49 - Internet access is related to the availability and cost of fixed phone lines, since most technologies for accessing the Internet are based on fixed voice telephony circuits.
Page 51 - In addition to the cost of communications and of purchasing a computer, subscribing to a service provider is the main impediment today.
Page 38 - This implies serious reflection about knowledge itself in order to: define professional profiles and related skills; modularize general education (to favor the earning of qualifications...

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