The Middle East youth bulge
The bombs and the bluster in the Middle East are tediously familiar. Less so is what is arguably the most daunting strategic challenge facing the Arab countries: the youth bulge. As a special report in the Financial Times this week spelled out, up to two-thirds of Arabs are under 25 and more than one in four have no job, in a deeply troubled region with the world’s worst employment rate.
the reasons for relative Arab failure to develop go very deep, as a seminal series of Arab Human Development reports begun in 2002 by the United Nations Development Programme – written by Arab professionals and intellectuals – unflinchingly laid bare.
If one has to identify three overarching problems, they are a woeful education system, political autocracy and the absence of the rule of law – and they are all related.