Economic Ties Can Save Africa’s Arab Spring
Two years after the fall of Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the economic imperative for political stability in North Africa requires some bold and fresh thinking. One idea worthy of more attention is promoting regional economic integration.
Commerce among the Maghreb countries — Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Mauritania — has been hovering around 3 percent to 4 percent of all the trade they conduct, making the region probably the least integrated in the world. Overcoming this failure would help to open borders and allow for greater efficiencies, economic diversification and economies of scale, drawing on each country’s relative strengths in human and natural resources.
Read the complete article at Bloomberg.
GMF’s Ghazi Ben Ahmed is the director of the MENA Partnership for Democracy & Development based in Tunis, Tunisia. Ellen Laipson is president and chief executive officer of the Stimson Center in Washington.