The political origins of the Arab Spring are straightforward: governments in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia had failed to respond adequately to the growing demands of political inclusion and good governance. However, the revolutions also had serious economic underpinnings: governments in the region had failed at creating jobs, especially for the young, and the economic policies which formed the basis for inclusive growth after independence had long-hence been unraveling. After decades of political repression two common themes – ‘jobs and justice’ – have come to dominate the development agenda. This was not surprising given the rising costs of living and growing gap between the rich and the poor. In recognition of the importance of this, the Bank commissioned a key piece of research into the topic.
In addition to reviewing the economic origins of the crisis the report examines the options available to manage the social and economic challenges in the short run and over term. Importantly, the report also presents policy options for the short run and frames the structural changes needed in terms of empowering the private sector and accelerating industrial development. The Report also suggests options on how to restore inclusive growth from how to attain new skills for the workforce to reforming the public expenditure.