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Economic Brief - Open, Smart and Inclusive Development: ICT for Transforming North Africa


North Africa is adjusting to forces of change, ranging from globalization to a technological revolution and fast growing young population. The global financial and economic crisis has undermined a blind faith in free markets, and revived interest in pursuing smart strategies by both the government and private sector in support of technological innovation and structural transformation (Lin, 2010).

Rising unemployment and inequality, and the recent popular uprisings now lend more urgency to rethinking economic development for North Africa. The information and communication technology (ICT) revolution offers a historic opportunity to enable regional adjustment to a fastchanging and knowledge-driven global economy. It opens the opportunity for the region to transform to an open, smart and inclusive economy. It offers new tools and platforms to address the region’s challenges: governance, employment, demands for public services, export diversification, structural transformation, and global competitiveness.

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