Human Capital as the most valuable Resource

 

It has been said that Human Capital as the most valuable Resource that any organisation be it in the  political, economical and / or social domains would require for purposes of progress, growth and development  generally. These organisations to succeed and eventually prosper, or perhaps simply stand their grounds, do need leadership of one type or another.  There is plenty of literature on this very topic but the following essay of McKinsey would not pass unnoticed.   In our series on leadership, refer to Leadership Priorities in Year 2017, we did not cover this aspect of the business of tracking, selecting and ultimately contracting in quality personnel.  This is possibly the most perilous but also the most rewarding operation of selection of an employee, an expert and / or a president of a country.  Excerpts of the McKinsey’s Finding Hidden Leaders are reproduced here.

Finding hidden leaders

By Kevin Lane, Alexia Larmaraud, and Emily Yueh

 

Persistent challenges

The first explanation is size: in large organizations, it’s easy for hidden talent to stay hidden or be drowned out by the noise of complex organizational processes. They could be in a business unit far from the corporate center or in a backroom job away from the action. They might be quiet and reluctant to push themselves forward, eclipsed by more forceful personalities. Yet they may perform exceptionally well in their jobs, collaborate effectively with colleagues, have extensive networks across the organization, or carry informal influence among their peers. In short, they are showing signs of leadership potential, but it remains untapped because they are shielded from senior managers.

Another reason why promising future leaders go unnoticed is bias in the selection process. As Sylvia Ann Hewlett, Carolyn Buck Luce, and Cornel West have shown, bias can be consciously or unconsciously based on race, ethnicity, or gender, or on age, when older employees are seen as past their prime. A language “deficit,” or even a strong accent, has been known to cause people in global organizations to be penalized, as has a failure to fit conventional cultural norms. Sometimes it might be merely a one-off bad experience on a project that taints a high-potential employee’s reputation. Or it could happen to someone who steps off the conventional path for personal reasons—for example, to have a child or care for an ill family member. Managers in most organizations, notwithstanding efforts to encourage diversity and inclusion, still tend to recognize, reward, and promote people who look and behave like them and who have followed similar paths, while neglecting others whose leadership potential may be equally impressive.

Finally, there is the problem of the narrow top-down lens that senior leaders often use when looking for leadership talent. Underlying this is the mistaken assumption that only those at the top of the organization know what great leadership looks like, or a narrow focus on leadership contexts specific to the organization and the particular role. This can crowd out other perspectives, such as what individuals have achieved outside the company or what people lower down in the organization see as examples of effective leadership. A narrow lens can also interact in subtle ways with bias, as was the case for the executive at a large technology company who found it difficult to understand why a female manager wasn’t seizing more opportunities to “demo” the company’s products at major events as he and other senior leaders had done during their rise up the ranks.

Disappointing harvests

Overcoming the obstacles of size, bias, and narrow lens is a management challenge of the first order. In our experience, the most common means of finding leaders in large organizations—what we call harvesting—is not up to the task. Harvesting assumes that the best, often with some help, will organically rise to prominence and can then be plucked and placed into leadership roles. There are many varieties of harvesting, but it essentially involves planting talented “seeds”—new hires—in the organization, giving them increasingly demanding tasks, providing training and support as they develop, allowing them opportunities to demonstrate their abilities, and choosing the best performers for the senior roles. Managers who do this best invest a large amount of time and energy in cultivation activities. There is a lot of value in this, and harvesting should remain a vital part of developing and selecting. But it does little to unearth hidden talent, because hidden talent, by its nature, includes individuals who for some reason are not on the standard advancement path and thus remain invisible to those relying on conventional processes.

How to spot your hidden leaders

Finding employees with the qualities to be tomorrow’s leaders requires more than harvesting talent and should include what we call “hunting,” “fishing,” and “trawling” (exhibit). These approaches are more proactive and involve, for example, turning over more stones than usual, encouraging leaders to identify themselves, and finding new ways to tap into the environments where people live and work.

Exhibit

human-capital-hunting-tracking-and

 

 

 

 

5 years to change how we Learn, Earn and Care

Saadia Zahidi in perhaps one of her most commendable contributions to the WEF, states here that times are a-changing and that it is up to us to adapt our systems of education, care, etc. so as to maximise our chances of a better future.  For that we have only 5 years to change how we learn, earn and care or even perhaps less than that. 

We may have less than 5 years to change how we learn, earn and care

January 4, 2016

Over the course of the last year, at World Economic Forum and elsewhere, I have asked participants two questions. First I ask for a show of hands on whether they feel confident about their current skills taking them through to the end of their careers – about one in five raise their hands. Then I ask if they feel confident about advising their children on their education to prepare for their own futures: none raises their hand. These are some of the most knowledgeable, leading figures in the world and yet they, like many of us, are uncertain about what the future of labour markets looks like.

This is not surprising.

Globalization and technology are accelerating both job creation and destruction. Some estimates have put the risk of automation as high as half of current jobs, while others forecast a considerably lower value of 9%. Still, all occupations will go through change: we found that on average one-third of the skillsets required to perform today’s jobs will be wholly new by 2020.

job-families-rise-and-decline

At the same time, education and training systems are not keeping pace with these shifts. Some studies suggest that 65% of children currently entering primary school will have jobs that do not yet exist and for which their education will fail to prepare them, exacerbating skills gaps and unemployment in the future. Even more urgent, underdeveloped adult training and skilling systems are unable to support learning for the currently active workforce of nearly 3 billion people.

In addition, outdated cultural norms and institutional inertia already create roadblocks for half of the world’s talent – and are getting worse in the new context. Despite women’s leap forward in education, their participation in the paid workforce remains low; and progress is stalling, with current forecasts for economic parity at 170 years.

The near-term outcomes of these dynamics, compounded through other demographic, geopolitical and economic factors, are profoundly challenging. They include skills gaps in the workforce that are difficult for employers and workers alike, unemployment and job displacement, particularly in blue-collar and services work, rising fear of further technological unemployment, insufficient supply of talent for many high-skill occupations, and loss of female talent and potential. Together these factors are exacerbating income inequality and creating a crisis of identity.

Yet, most of these dire predictions need not be foregone conclusions. If leaders act now, using this moment of transformation as an impetus for tackling long-overdue reform, they have the ability not only to stem the flow of negative trends but to accelerate positive ones and create an environment in which over 7 billion people on the planet can live up to their full potential.

Instead, in several advanced economies, we are seeing the political and social consequences of short-term, emotive – and sometimes disingenuous – thinking. For those who are losing out from the changes underway, fear is an understandable response. But turning away immigrants, trade or technology itself, and disengaging from the world, is a distraction, at best. At worst, will create even more negative consequences for those already losing out – and many more. It is up to courageous, responsible and responsive leaders and citizens to take the long view and set out on the path to more fundamental, relevant reforms, and an inspiring future.

How? By investing in human capital and preparing people for the new opportunities of the fourth industrial revolution. The World Economic Forum has worked with leaders, experts and practitioners to create a common vision and a shared change agenda focused on how we learn, earn and care.

  1. Transform education ecosystems. Most education systems are so far behind the mark on keeping up with the pace of change today and so disconnected from labour markets that nothing short of a fundamental overhaul will suffice in many economies. The eight key areas of action here are early childhood education, future-ready curricula, a professionalized teaching workforce, early exposure to the workplace, digital fluency, robust and respected technical and vocational education, openness to education innovation, and critically, a new deal on lifelong learning.
  2. Facilitate the transition to a new world of work. While there are deeply polarized views about how technology will impact employment, there is agreement that we are in a period of transition. Policy needs to catch up and facilitate this transition. We propose four areas of action: recognition of all work models and agile implementation of new regulations, updated social protection, adult learning and continuous re-skilling, and proactive employment services.
  3. Advance the care economy. Often undervalued and unregulated, care is one of the most fundamental needs among both young and old populations. It has a strong impact on education, and holds potential for job growth. We propose six areas of action: recognize and value care as a vital sector of the economy, professionalize the care workforce, rebalance paid and unpaid work responsibilities, expand high-quality care infrastructure, create new financial provisions to facilitate care, and use technology as a tool for balancing care and work.

how-is-care-valued

Image: World Economic Forum

To do any of this – and to make it pay off – it is critical that policy design includes agile multistakeholder governance, empowerment of the individual, objective measurement, universal access and long-term planning as fundamental tenets.

The rapid pace of change means we need to act urgently. By some estimates the current window of opportunity for action is three-to-five years. This may sound daunting but there are a large variety of robust success stories to learn from and emulate. There are also substantial new commercial opportunities – such as adult education, care services, employment services – that make this space ripe for public-private collaboration.

It’s the harder path to follow, there’s no doubt about it. Transforming education ecosystems, creating a care economy and managing the transition to a new world of work require political will, innovative policy, new financing models and, most importantly, a new mind-set.

But this is also the only viable path if we want to get ahead of the transition underway and turn this moment of flux into an opportunity for revitalizing growth and realizing human potential in the age of the fourth industrial revolution.

The whitepaper on Realizing Human Potential in the Fourth Industrial Revolution: An Agenda for Leaders to Shape the Future of Education, Gender and Work can be found here.  Saadia Zahidi is Head of Education, Gender and Work and Member of the Executive Committee, World Economic Forum.

 

The Future is Not in Fossil Fuels

 

An article published on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017 by Common Dreams and written by Deirdre Fulton, staff writer is reproduced here for its interest to all concerned in the MENA region countries about the Peak-Oil theory being concretised under our eyes and that renewable energy would eventually replace all fossil oil based energy production.  The author asserts rightly that the Future is Not in Fossil Fuels  and that “Solar is also creating jobs at an unprecedented rate, more than in the oil and gas sectors combined, and 12 times faster than the rest of the economy.” (The above Photo is by David Goehring/flickr/cc)

 

Global Economic Realities Confirm, the ‘Future is Not in Fossil Fuels’

While oil and gas companies falter, ‘renewable energy has reached a tipping point,’ says World Economic Forum expert.

 

Underscoring the need for a global shift to a low-carbon economy, a new report finds a record number of U.K. fossil fuel companies went bust in 2016 due to falling oil and gas prices.

The Independent reported the analysis from accounting firm Moore Stephens which found “16 oil and gas companies went insolvent last year, compared to none at all in 2012.” And the trend was not unique to the U.K.—a year-end bankruptcy report from Texas-based Haynes and Boone LLP showed there have been 232 bankruptcy filings in the U.S. and Canadian energy sector since the beginning of 2015.

“As the warnings from climate science get stronger, now is the time to realize…that the future is not in fossil fuels,” Dr. Doug Parr of Greenpeace U.K. told The Independent. “It’s also time for government to recognize that we should not leave the workers stranded, but provide opportunities in the new industries of the 21st century.”

Those opportunities are likely to come in the renewable energy sector, as the World Economic Forum (WEF) announced (PDF) in December that solar and wind power are now the same price or cheaper than new fossil fuel capacity in more than 30 countries.

“Renewable energy has reached a tipping point,” Michael Drexler, who leads infrastructure and development investing at the WEF, said in a statement at the time. “It is not only a commercially viable option, but an outright compelling investment opportunity with long-term, stable, inflation-protected returns.”

Quartz reported last month:

In 2016, utilities added 9.5 gigawatts (GW) of photovoltaic capacity to the U.S. grid, making solar the top fuel source for the first time in a calendar year, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s estimates. The U.S. added about 125 solar panels every minute in 2016, about double the pace last year, reports the Solar Energy Industry Association.

The solar story is even more impressive after accounting for new distributed solar on homes and business (rather than just those built for utilities), which pushed the total installed capacity to 11.2 GW.

And as Paul Buchheit noted in an op-ed published Tuesday at Common Dreams, “solar is also creating jobs at an unprecedented rate, more than in the oil and gas sectors combined, and 12 times faster than the rest of the economy.”

But it remains unclear how these trends will develop under an incoming Donald Trump administration.

As Moody’s Investor Services reported Tuesday, under Trump’s fossil-friendly cabinet, “U.S. energy policy likely will prioritize domestic oil and coal production, in addition to reducing federal regulatory burdens.”

In turn, according to Moody’s:

Increasing confidence in the oil and gas industry’s prospects will spur acquisition activity among North American exploration and production (E&P) firms, Moody’s says. Debt and equity markets are again offering financing for producers seeking to re-position and enhance their asset portfolios after a lull. [Merger and acquisition activity] will also pick up in the midstream sector. At the same time, integrated oil and gas firms will continue to improve their cash flow metrics and leverage profiles by cutting operating costs, further reducing capital spending and divesting assets.

Even so, the oilfield services and drilling (OFS) sector is in for another tough year, with continued weak customer demand, overcapacity, and a high debt burden.

Bottom line, wrote Buchheit, is that with the rapid expansion of solar power, Trump has “the opportunity to make something happen that will happen anyway, but he can take all the credit, with the added bonus of beating out his adversary China.”
“Unfortunately, Trump may not have the intelligence to recognize that he should act,” Buchheit wrote. “And the forces behind fossil fuel make progress unlikely. But there is plenty of American ego and arrogance and exceptionalism out there. We need some of that ego now, just like 60 years ago, when the Soviet accomplishments in space drove us toward a singular world-changing goal. Then it was the moon. Now it’s the sun.”

Real Leaders need to make Globalization work for all

 

As we head into 2017, and further to our previous contribution Leadership Priorities in Year 2017 we would like to give this opportunity to our readers to go through this article written by Rawan Al-Butairi, Financial analyst of Saudi Aramco and published on Monday 2 January 2017 on the WEF website.  The author questions leaderships attributes but within the specific Arab context of the MENA countries.  Experience tells us that practitioners love to see what is happening in their domain and for one reason or another do generalise it to all by asserting that Real leaders need to make globalization work for all .

The above image is of REUTERS/Victor Ruiz Garcia

 

What does leadership really mean? Two things

 

 

 

A young person could almost be forgiven for feeling despair and hopelessness today. Everywhere they look, there is escalating inequality and a lack of opportunity.

In certain regions and countries, the problem is more acute; from hyperinflation and a collapsed economy in Venezuela to an Arab Spring in Egypt which toppled a government but ultimately has yet to improve the lives of ordinary Egyptians. In fact, with a recently de-pegged currency and an IMF bailout, it will ostensibly get much worse there before it starts to get better.

At the time, many pundits argued that the 2011 Arab Spring was about people in the region demanding greater democracy and liberal freedom. However, I think this misses the heart of the problem. At that time, Egypt was still suffering from the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, with important industries such as tourism still far from recovery. Moreover, large increases in food and raw material prices caused a huge trade imbalance (Egypt- as well as Venezuala – is a significant net importer of food).

With the rising cost of food, an unsustainable trade imbalance leading to unaffordable domestic subsidy programs, an overly concentrated economic model susceptible to crippling exogenous shocks, and a growing population to “feed”, the situation mirrored the predictable fall of a neatly stacked set of domino chips. These countries simply ran out of room and ran out of time to modernize their economies to provide opportunities for their growing young population.

Leaders fell back on the status quo, too afraid, too self-interested, or too corrupt to make the difficult trade-off decisions to fix the numerous structural imbalances. These were tragic and epic failures.

In this context, what does responsible leadership mean? While it is tempting to provide the never incorrect “it depends” answer, I believe there are two universal and key themes.

First, globalization, like capitalism, must be effectively managed to be more inclusive. Globalization leads to a bigger overall pie, but responsible leaders must find ways to distribute that pie to more people. Conversely, protectionism and populism to me is just Neo-Luddism, a misguided and ultimately futile tilting against windmills which will only lead to a smaller pie for everyone.

With technological advancement and the oft-touted “knowledge economy” naturally favoring a small group of the highly skilled, government and the private sector can and must do more to even the playing field, including potentially higher minimum wage laws or progressive taxation to fund more targeted and effective social programs. These programs must be financially sustainable, free of corruption, and efficiently enacted.

At a community level, responsible leadership must encourage more volunteerism and gifting – of not just money, but time, knowledge, and mentoring those with less opportunity – and these individuals and institutions must personally lead by example. The leaders and workers of tomorrow need to understand the impact of globalization, both its benefits and its implications, so that workers are motivated to develop competitive skills in an increasingly global and interconnected economy. Inevitably, there will be groups who will be marginalized and unable or unwilling to adapt to this future, and the social programs will need to be creatively designed to reach and help these people.

Second, responsible leaders must have deep social capital, particularly “bridging social capital”. According to Robert Putnam, a political scientist and Harvard Kennedy School of Government professor, bridging social capital builds key networks between different social groups. It allows people from different socio-economic backgrounds, genders, ethnicities and cultures to share and exchange ideas and build consensus among groups with diverse interests.

Responsible leaders must develop empathy and solidarity with all people they serve, so that they will forge collective benefits that enlarge the pie for everyone. Again, volunteerism and community engagement are crucial. Unfortunately, with social media and an overabundance of choice, people are easily conditioned to only seek out interactions with people they “like” or to “friend” people of similar views or backgrounds. This is the exact opposite of the desired outcome, and can lead to irresponsible leaders with low social capital, and low empathy, who see the world as a fixed pie that must be divided up with the largest slice going to themselves and people like them. The future of the world, particularly the one that the young will inherit, must be defined by what we share, not our superficial differences.

So what, again, is a responsible leader?

In summary, a responsible leader to me is person who has abundant social capital, an intrinsic desire to maximize the economic pie to create opportunities for everyone, someone who is able to effectively manage globalization, and looks to build bridges instead of walls. He or she will enable hope to once again flourish within the sea of hopelessness, and turn despair into optimism.

About this article: Rawan Al-Butairi is a World Economic Forum Global Shaper. Her article is one of the short-listed entries in the 2016 Global Shaper essay competition on the theme of responsive and responsible leadership.

What next for Middle East’s media?

 

AMEinfo produced this article written by Mujeeb Rahman, Journalist on 28 December 2016; it is republished here below.  It is question of the Mass Media notably of the printed type.  But the media generally are lately undergoing some sort of mutations with the online one coming up to maturity possibly at the expense  of its printed counterpart.  Mujeeb’s question What next for Middle East’s media? should be answered but only if taking every aspect of life in the countries of the MENA are taken into account. 

In that region, the other problem would be that of the Freedom of Speech as illustrated by 2 recent events that were covered here in MENA-Forum.   A journalist dies whilst held in prison for alleged defamation in Algeria Friend and Fellow Countryman M. Tamalt Passing Away or simply imprisoned for one reason or another as in More journalists jailed than in nearly 3 decades  and their media literally obstructed by the authorities as in In solidarity with Doha News .

 What next for Middle East’s media?

  •  2016 has been the year that wasn’t for the Middle East media
  •  7DAYS closed down, Emirates 24/7 and Khaleej Times slashed jobs
  •  GN Media closed down four popular radio stations
  •  Newspapers and magazines adverting spend to drop by by 6.1 per cent and 4.5 per cent, respectively, in 2017

The year 2016 ends with yet another blow to the Middle East’s media industry as UAE’s free tabloid newspaper 7DAYS shut down on December 22 because of the “challenging” market conditions.

The newspaper, owned by the UK-based Daily Mail & General Trust Plc (DMGT), had earlier announced that it was ceasing the publication after 13 years, citing bleak prospects of print media.

The industry had also witnessed a few other closures and job cuts due to rising cost and major decline in ad revenues during the difficult year.

The year that wasn’t

2016 has been the year that wasn’t for the media in the region.

As it tried everything it could to survive, 7DAYS cut its frequency from five days a week to weekly in November. But the newspaper, neck-deep in financial trouble, met with the ultimate fate as it also shut down online news website on the same day the last copy rolled-off the press.

“The current trading environment and future global outlook for print advertising remains severely challenged,” Mark Rix, CEO of 7DAYS Media, said when announcing the closure.

News website Emirates 24/7, run by government-owned Dubai Media Incorporated, shed staff as part of a restructuring. Media reports suggest that Khaleej Times daily had also laid-off nearly 30 staff during this year.

Dubai-based GN Media closed down popular Radio 1 and Radio 2 stations in June. Later in September, the media group closed two other remaining radio stations, Josh and Hayat.

“Following a strategic review of our operations, GN Media have made the decision to exit the broadcasting sector,” the company said then referring to the closure of its broadcasting arm, Gulf News Broadcasting.

Not only the small fries but also major publication and broadcast organizations had tough time during the past 12 months.

The Doha-based Al Jazeera media network announced in March that it was cutting 500 jobs. The broadcaster had earlier this year shut down its English-language channel in the US, Al Jazeera America, saying the business model was “simply not sustainable in light of the economic challenges”.

Declining ad spend

Print ad spend has drastically declined in the past few years in the UAE and across the worlds.

Globally, adverting spend in newspapers and magazines dropped this year from 2015 by 8 per cent and 5.9 per cent respectively, according to a recent report by London-based consultancy Warc. They are projected to fall further in 2017 by 6.1 per cent and 4.5 per cent.

In the region, newspapers accounted for 45 per cent of the advertising market in 2010. But they now represent only 32 per cent the market, according to the findings in a study by Northwest University Qatar.

Zenith Optimedia had earlier this year forecast an 11 percent drop in overall advertising spending in the region for 2016 as the region’s governments, the largest buyers of advertising, were trimming down spending on the back of lower oil prices.

Changing trends

Television still accounts for the vast majority of advertising in the region. Leading professional services firm PwC has revealed that the TV advertising market in Middle East and Africa (MEA) has seen double digit growth despite the economic and political turbulence. It predicts that the region will be the fastest-growing region globally with 12.1 per cent CAGR for TV advertising.

Digital advertising is picking up pace with the fast growing Internet and Smartphone population in the region. Both TV and digital advertising platforms are growing at the expense of print. From 2010 to 2015, digital advertising grew from $105 million to $550 million, or 10 per cent of industry mediums, NUQ finds.

PwC projects that by 2018, Internet advertising will overtake TV as the largest advertising segment

By Mujeeb Rahman, Journalist

Mujeeb Rahman is a business journalist at AMEinfo. His areas of focus include economy, markets, politics and international relations in MENA and Asia-Pacific regions. An ex-BBC digital journalist, he delves deeper into the subjects that matter most

Morality of Leaders as factor of stability

 

For a Happy New Year 2017 in the Maghreb and North Africa,

by

I often had in the past, to stress on numerous occasions in my counselling activities for the Maghreb and African Governments about how the lack of integration did in fact result in the loss of several points from the region’s growth.  This was principally tied with and / or consequent to the prevailing lack of morality in the region’s leadership.  And how Morality of Leaders as factor of stability has become a factor of progress or a sine-qua-non condition for a sustainable development.

Any sustainability in development would have to take into account the current ecological challenge amongst many other things, that in this 21st century, should essentially be made through good governance and effectively be knowledge based.  For the development of whether the Maghreb or North Africa to be competitive in these globalization times and the fourth economic revolution that is looming upon us between 2020/2030, we ought to first remove all productive sectors out of the rentier economy model and incorporate them in the global arena of fair trade.

The Maghreb and Africa hold significant potential, especially in human skills, wealth that is more important than all the reserves of hydrocarbons for Algeria or Phosphate for Morocco and Tunisia.  To overcome the current situation both locally and abroad, in addition to deep sense of morality of the people responsible for running the city, the fight against corruption and illegal transfers of capital, with democratic control mechanisms should be the urgency of the hour.

One cannot ignore the effects of globalization that in the main is positive but could at the same time be perverse if unregulated.  We should for instance inscribe all future projects as part of the integration of the Maghreb, bridge between Europe, the Middle East and Africa, for the stability and prosperity of the whole region.  The Maghreb and Africa being at the crossroads, we must avoid any complacency, and contrary to the daily lives of the vast majority of the population, we should refuse letting it become a source of collective neurosis.  Whilst avoiding gloom, everything achieved in all countries of the Maghreb and Africa is after all not entirely negative, but there are many deficiencies that require to be absolutely addressed.

Would, in 2017, the present rulers of the Maghreb and Africa, toast it by chosing those resolutions that in these moments of great geo-strategic upheavals, help them to both take stock of the situation objectively, avoid running forward and possibly become aware of the gravity of the situation.  They should notably make their cultural mu, with a focus not on their personal interests but rather on the superior interests of their populations.

To meet all challenges of the future, the Maghreb and Africa rulers, need a return to CONFIDENCE through a language of truth in order to secure their respective future.  They should rehabilitate work and intelligence, and gather all political, economic, and social forces whilst avoiding any division on subtopics.  Most importantly, they should learn to respect our different sensitivities, and therefore opinions of others, by spreading a culture of tolerance.

Unanimism is generally source of decadence and confrontation of ideas very often a productive source of mutual enrichment.  The challenge of all nations in the 21st century world that is in perpetual motion would be the mastery of time.  Any country that does not move forward goes necessarily backward.  According to the majority of all international reviews, the stability of the Maghreb and Africa could be a factor of stability of the entire Mediterranean and African continent and any destabilisation would have geo-strategic implications whereby the importance of its development as a dialectic link between security and development.

Hence the importance of a broad inter-Maghreb, African and international cooperation so as to deal with above all else terrorism that is a global threat.  The Maghreb and Africa would continue to have a future with strong potential, presuming sub regional integrations, can achieve sustainable development reconciling economic efficiency, a deep social justice and consolidate unity to which I am deeply attached.

In this New Year 2017, I would like to wish that our region, North Africa and the continent of Africa, all the security and development and face the coming fiscal pressures as a shared equitable sacrifice.  I am entirely convinced that the Maghreb and Africa have all the potentialities to surpass the multidimensional crisis they are presently facing. This would involve new modes of local political, economic and social regulations, based on the Rule of Law, the development of freedoms in the broader sense our world knowing a moral crisis that will be overcome only by a profound change in international relations for a fairer world, as based on better global governance.

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR to ALL

from

Dr Abderrahmane MEBTOUL, University Professor on 26/12/2016 ademmebtoul@gmail.com

Year 2016 Review using 12 Charts

 

The World Bank produced the following article on Year 2016 Review using 12 Charts.  It is written by  Tariq Khokhar  with co-author: Donna Barne on December 22nd, 2016.  We republish the first 7 items of the article here and would seriously recommend reading the rest in its original publication by clicking the article title below.  One would also notice that the video in question in the article can be visualised only in its original bedding.  

Tariq Khokhar

Year in Review: 2016 in 12 Charts (and a video)

 

Between the social, political, and economic upheavals affecting our lives, and the violence and forced displacement making headlines, you’d be forgiven for feeling gloomy about 2016. A look at the data reveals some of the challenges we face but also the progress we’ve made toward a more peaceful, prosperous, and sustainable future. Here are 12 charts that help tell the stories of the year.

1.The number of refugees in the world increased.

At the start of 2016, 65 million people had been forcibly displaced from their homes, up from 60 million the year before. More than 21 million were classified as refugees. Outside of Sub-Saharan Africa, most refugees live in cities and towns, where they seek safety, better access to services, and job opportunities. A recent report on the “Forcibly Displaced” offers a new perspective on the role of development in helping refugees, internally displaced persons and host communities, working together with humanitarian partners. Among the initiatives is new financial assistance for countries such as Lebanon and Jordan that host large numbers of refugees.

image-1

 

 

  1. The global climate change agreement entered into force.

The pact negotiated in Paris in 2015 was ratified by 118 of the 194 countries that signed it, triggering new commitments to combat global warming. One of the agreement’s major goals is to promote a shift to low-carbon energy. Demand for renewable energy is picking up in developing countries as prices decline. In May, Africa saw its lowest solar price to date when the winning bid to develop large-scale photovoltaic solar plants in Zambia came in at 6 cents per kilowatt hour – or 4.7 cents/kwh, spread over 20 years.  That followed bids as low as 3 cents in the United Arab Emirates and 4.5 cents in Mexico. Renewables are now cost competitive in many markets and increasingly seen as mainstream sources of energy, according to REN21.

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3.Global trade weakened.

In 2016, global trade growth recorded its weakest performance since the global financial crisis. Trade volumes stagnated for most of the year, with weak global investment playing an important role, as capital goods account for about one third of world goods trade. Trade has been a major engine of growth for the global economy and has helped cut global poverty in half since 1990. A trade slowdown, therefore, could have implications for growth, development, and the fight against poverty.

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  1. More people had access to mobile phones than to electricity or clean water.

Access to mobile phones has surged in low- and middle-income countries, but many of the other benefits of the digital revolution – such as greater productivity, more opportunity for the poor and middle class, and more accountable governments and companies — have not yet spread as far and wide as anticipated, according to the World Bank’s 2016 World Development Report on the Internet, “Digital Dividends.” The report says greater efforts must be made to connect more people to the Internet and to create an environment that unleashes the benefits of digital technologies for everyone.

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  1. A third of all people were under the age of 20.

In around 40 African countries, over 50% of the population is under 20. By contrast, in 30 richer countries, less than 20% of the population is under 20. As the 2015/2016 Global Monitoring Reports notes, the world is on the cusp of a major demographic transition that will affect countries along the development spectrum.

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  1. 600 million jobs will be needed in the next 10 years.

One third of the world’s 1.8 billion young people are currently neither in employment, education nor training. Of the one billion more youth that will enter the job market in the next decade, only 40% are expected to be able to get jobs that currently exist. The future of work is changing, and the global economy will need to create 600 million jobs over the next 10 years to keep pace with projected youth employment rates.

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  1. 1 in 3 people did not have access to a toilet.

The UN estimates that 2.4 billion people still lack access to improved sanitation facilities, nearly one billion of whom practice open defecation. Good sanitation is a foundation for development – conditions such as diarrhea are associated with poor sanitation, and left untreated, can lead to malnutrition and stunting in children. This year’s first High-Level Panel on Water brought together world leaders with a core commitment to ensuring the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.

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