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BIPR | A New State of Mind: Greater Transparency and Accountability in the Middle East and North Africa
A New State of Mind: Greater Transparency and Accountability in the Middle East and North Africa

February 9, 2023 - 11:30

Roberta Gatti, World Bank

Event Recap


Full Audio:

A New State of Mind: Greater Transparency and Accountability in the Middle East and North Africa
International Economics Series

hosted by Professor Tito Cordella

Roberta Gatti
World Bank

The MENA region is facing extreme vulnerabilities, which the current crises — first the pandemic, then the war in Ukraine — have exacerbated. Prices of food and energy are higher, hurting the most vulnerable, and rising interest rates resulting from the global tightening of monetary policy are making debt service more burdensome. The World Bank report explores some of the resulting vulnerabilities for MENA. MENA countries are facing diverging paths for future growth. Oil Exporters have seen windfall increases in state revenues from the rise in hydrocarbon prices, while oil importers face heightened stress and risk—from higher import bills, especially for food and energy, and the depreciation of local currencies in some countries. This report also argues that poor governance (in particular lack of government transparency and accountability) is at the root of the region's development failings, such as low growth, exclusion of the most disadvantaged and women, and overuse of such precious natural resources as land and water.

ROBERTA GATTI

Roberta Gatti is Chief Economist of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region at the World Bank. In this role, she oversees analytical work to support the Bank's operations and economic surveillance in countries in the region. In her previous role as Chief Economist for the Human Development practice group, she co-led the conceptualization and release of the World Bank Human Capital Index and oversaw the Service Delivery Indicators data initiative. Gatti is the author of numerous flagship reports and her research, spanning topics in health, labor markets, and growth, is published in top field journals. She holds a B.A. from Università Bocconi and a Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University. She has taught at Georgetown and Johns Hopkins Universities.
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