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DISTINGUISHED LECTURES

A series of distinguished lectures which aims to present world-renowned speakers describing topics relevant to Egypt in an engaging style.

Labor Market Dynamics in Egypt

Speaker(s): Dr. Ragui Assaad

Dec 2017
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Progress in a Changing World

Speaker(s): Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin

Nov 2017

This lecture addressed different aspects of development, including ways in which different sectors can cope in an ever changing world, highlighting major economic and globalization trends. Dr Mohieldin also shared the experiences of developed as well as developing countries as they relate to the implemetation of the United Nations Social Development Goals.

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E-Commerce: A Trade Policy Perspective within the WTO (with a glimpse on Egypt)

Speaker(s): Mr. Abdel Hamid Mamdouh, World Trade Organization (WTO)

Sep 2017
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International Trade Before and After Trump

Speaker(s): Abdel Hamid Mamdouh, Director of Trade in Services Division, World Trade Organization (WTO)

Apr 2017

The year 2016 witnessed the rise of populism, caused by inequality and job loss. The blame was put on international trade. However, incomplete policies are the reason why jobs were lost not international trade. Trade liberalization should be part of policy packages that entail social policy, education and training.

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The Role of Services in Achieving Financial Inclusion

Speaker(s): Abdel Hamid Mamdouh, Director of Trade in Services Division, World Trade Organization (WTO)

Apr 2017

An estimated 2 billion working-age adults – more than half of the world's total adult population– do not have an account at a formal financial institution. The situation is no different in Egypt, where despite improvements in recent years, only 14 per cent of adults have a bank account. While financial inclusion has featured prominently in policymakers' agendas over the last decade, discussions have often ignored the potential contribution of trade in services to financial inclusion, and the role that trade in services policy may play in promoting and supporting national financial inclusion initiatives. Focusing on Egypt's situation with regard to financial inclusion, this presentation will overview the main barriers to financial inclusion and will discuss, drawing from various case studies and examples, how trade in services may be harnessed to promote financial inclusion.

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Towards Meeting the Challenges of Desert Land Reclamation in Egypt

Speaker(s): Mr. Atter Hannoura, Chairman and CEO, El Reef El Masry; Dr. Jan Hak, Food Technologist and Business Development Expert

Feb 2017

 

 

 

 

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Making Social Protection Work for Women: Lessons from International Experience

Speaker(s): Shahra Razavi, Chief of the Research and Data Section at UN Women

Jan 2017
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The Meaning of Justice in Firms

Speaker(s): Stefan Liebig, Professor of Sociology, Social Inequality and Stratification, University of Bielefeld, Germany

Dec 2014

This distinguished lecture discusses the reasons and consequences of individuals’ feelings of justice/injustice in firms, relying on data from surveys and experiments in Western countries. Specifically, this lecture will present findings from empirical research on the following fundamental questions:

  • Why and how is perception of justice important in a modern society?
  • What ideas do people have on justice?
  • Why is justice important especially in organizations?
  • What are the consequences of feelings of injustice?
  • Why are welfare state institutions important for economic growth in a market society?

 
About the Speaker

Stefan Liebig

Professor of Sociology, Social Inequality and Stratification, Department of Sociology, Bielefeld University & Research Professor at the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW)


Stefan Liebig’s research interests include social justice, social inequality and stratification, sociology of organizations, and methods of empirical social research. Besides his academic positions, he serves as head of the German National Coordinating Team of the European Social Survey and as member of the Advisory Board of the German General Social Survey. He is also a member of several associations, including the German Sociological Association; the German Industrial Relations Association; and the American Sociological Association. He has published in the fields of social justice in modern societies, justice in firms, justice and taxation, and health-related aspects of social inequalities.      

 

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Towards A Global Low Carbon Economy: Elements of A Green Pact Between Europe and North Africa

Speaker(s): Professor Dirk Messner Director, Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (German Development Institute)

Mar 2012

Access to safe, clean and affordable energy for all people in the world, with simultaneous decarbonisation of energy systems, can only succeed if international cooperation is stepped up. The most important objectives of the global transformation of energy use are: limiting global energy demand and ensuring access to modern, sustainable energy services for all, decarbonising the energy supply, and introducing new low-carbon technologies in the transport sector, in buildings, and in industry. International cooperation is essential in order to accelerate the development of key technologies and facilitate the global diffusion of technologies. From a European perspective, Egypt and other North African economies might be key partners in the area of a global low carbon transformation. Overall, international cooperation should focus less on individual projects and more on systemic changes, with a view to developing joint strategies for climate-compatible development and ‘green growth’. The low carbon transformation offers a new platform for reciprocal patterns of cooperation between European and (North) African countries.

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Democracy and Development: The Devil is in the Details

Speaker(s): Guido Tabellini,Bocconi University

May 2011

With Egypt's ongoing transition to an open and democratic system, this distinguished lecture explored the links between democratic transitions and economic development, and attempted to identify conditions under which democratizations would yield subsequent high and inclusive economic growth. Specifically, it considered the impact of alternative democratic forms of democracy (e.g., parliamentary versus presidential democracy) on fiscal and trade policies implemented after democratization. A large empirical literature in economics and political sciences has addressed these issues. Professor Guido Tebellini of Bocconi University highlighted the main findings of this literature, paying particular attention to the interactions between economic and political liberalizations.

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Macroeconomic Reforms in Egypt and Resilience to Shocks: Lessons from the Great Recession

Speaker(s): Peter J. Montiel, Williams College

Nov 2010

The Egyptian economy has proven to be resilient during the past global economic crisis, with real GDP growth reaching 4.7 percent during 2008/2009 and 5.1 percent for the first three quarters of 2009/2010. Egypt’s resilience to external shocks could be attributed to macroeconomic reforms undertaken over the past decade, as evident by more diversity of sectoral sources of growth, fiscal reforms that availed the space to introduce timely countercyclical packages, and monetary reforms that increased the ability of the Central Bank to weather external shocks and contain domestic inflationary pressures. What are the payoffs from macroeconomic reforms? Whether such reforms yield higher long-term growth has long been controversial. The experience of the Great Recession suggests that other important benefits may have been neglected in the controversy over the growth benefits of reform. Specifically, in contrast with previous international recessions, recovery from the Great Recession has been led by emerging and developing economies, many of which have implemented significant reforms over the past two decades. How much of the resilience of these economies can be attributed to these reforms? Drawing on international experiences, the lecture focused on the desirability of further reforms in Egypt to ensure that the economy is growing at its potential capacity and achieve better diversification and distribution of growth that balance the economic and social agendas and ensure that the benefits of reforms are sustainable going forward.

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Protecting the Poor Against the Next Crisis

Speaker(s): Ravi Kanbur,Cornell University

Mar 2010

The global financial crisis of 2008 will pass. But, for developing countries, crises are here to stay. Indeed, it can be argued that with the global financial crisis, developed country governments got a taste of what developing countries live with as a normal part of the development process. Crises can arise from many sources—differing in geographical or sectoral origins. Their onset is difficult to predict and, when they do hit, the rate at which they will recede is equally difficult to forecast. These twin uncertainties—of crisis type and crisis timing—frame the policy dilemmas in protecting the poor in the face of a crisis. They require that protection systems must be comprehensive, since the type of crisis and hence which of the poor are hurt is uncertain. Equally, they must be flexible, in the scaling up when the crisis hits and in the scaling down when the crisis passes, since crisis timing is uncertain. A range of social protection programs are assessed and reforms recommended in this framework. A key point, however, is that the full set of government programs, including those not normally thought of as falling in the “social protection” category, have a role to play in protecting the poor in the face of a macro level crisis. The framework also has implications for donors and international agencies, and suggests improvements to their instruments and operations that can support developing country governments in protecting the poor against the next crisis.

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Development in the Arab World: The Region at a Cross-roads

Speaker(s): Abdel Latif Youssef El Hamed, Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development

Nov 2009

The Arab World is at a cross-roads. Various efforts are urgently needed to help the region catch up with the rest of the world. In this lecture, a veteran Arab development expert, H. E. Abdel Latif Youssef El Hamed, Director General/Chairman of the Board of the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, discussed key challenges faced by the Arab region, and put forth recommendations for reform.

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Liquidity: Lessons from the Current Turbulence

Speaker(s): Lord John Eatwell, President of Queen’s College, Cambridge University

Oct 2008

Lord John Eatwell, President of Queen’s College, Cambridge University, and a leading scholar in the field of financial policy, shed new light on the long-debated issue of liquidity in order to draw lessons from the current financial turbulence. In particular, he discussed: 1.market liquidity and the causes of financial bubbles; 2.how liquidity relates to monetary and financial policy; 3.lessons that can be drawn from the current financial turmoil for emerging markets and how to reduce systemic risk in financial markets.

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The Idea of Social Capital: Communities as Economic Institutions

Speaker(s): Partha Dasgupta, University of Cambridge

Nov 2007

Economists have traditionally studied markets and the state. They have developed a sophisticated theory that uncovers the desirable balance between the two institutions. What has been missing from that enormous literature is an institution of the greatest importance in the lives of people in the poor world, namely, communities. In this lecture, Prof. Dasgupta regarded communities as a class of economic institutions. Specifically, he showed the way in which communities solve resource allocation problems in villages and towns; and described the ways in which they differ from markets. He also pointed out the strengths and weaknesses of communities as well as related the idea of communities to a somewhat different subject studied recently by sociologists and political scientists, namely, "social capital".

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International Market Developments in Oil and Gas and Implications for Egypt

Speaker(s): Robert Mabro, Fellow, St.Antony’s College, Oxford

May 2006

With the increasing importance of the oil and gas sectors to the Egyptian economy, it is essential to understand how the international oil and gas markets work and how prices will move in the future. In this lecture, Professor Mabro, a widely recognized energy industry expert, offered insight into these issues by discussing: 1. The characteristics of the international markets of oil and gas; 2. Pricing mechanisms and determinants and the role of the futures market; 3. Expected market developments and their implications for Egypt.

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What Have we Learned from 25 Years of Privatization?

Speaker(s): John Nellis, Senior Fellow, Center for Global Development

Dec 2005

After 25 years of privatization worldwide, it is important to take stock of this experience, as well as reflect on the best way forward. Our distinguished speaker, a leading scholar in the field of privatization, attempted to answer the following questions: 1. What is the outcome of 25 years of privatization worldwide? 2. Looking back, what could have been done differently? 3. Where do we go next and implications for Egypt?

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Monetary Policy in Emerging Markets: Implications for Egypt

Speaker(s): John B. Taylor, Under Secretary for International Affairs, US Treasury

Apr 2005

Our speaker tackled one of the most important challenges facing Egypt today: shifting to a monetary policy framework that focuses on price stability with a flexible exchange rate regime. Dr. Taylor addressed the following questions: 1- What is the optimal monetary policy framework for a country that has a floating exchange rate?2- How does fiscal policy negatively affect the central bank’s ability to implement the framework?3- How have emerging market countries performed under monetary policies that focus on price stability and what are the implications for Egypt?

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The Poverty-Growth-Inequality Triangle

Speaker(s): Francois Bourguignon, the World Bank

Dec 2004

Our speaker tackled the long-debated issue of whether development strategies should focus on growth, poverty or inequality. Mr. Bourguignon, a leading scholar in the field of development, sheded new light on this debate and draw policy-relevant implications for Egypt. He explored:1- The nature of the relationship between growth, poverty and inequality;2- The two-way relationship between growth and distribution; and 3- The scope and role of distributive policies.

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Private Sector Development: What Works and What Doesn't

Speaker(s): Michael Klein, the World Bank and IFC

Feb 2004

The last few decades saw a worldwide shift in favor of relying on the private sector to boost economic growth, and Egypt is no exception. However, this shift has not been universally successful. Drawing on international experience, Mr. Klein explained the reasons for success in some places more than others. He also shared his views on specific reforms in areas such as infrastructure and SMEs.

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Crimes and Punishment: An Analysis of Retaliation Under the WTO

Speaker(s): Robert Z. Lawrence, Harvard University

Sep 2003

The World Trade Organization authorizes its members to retaliate against violations of free trade by raising tariffs. The problem is that retaliation undermines the WTO objective of free trade. The system is further eroded when the WTO fails to induce compliance with its own rules, as observed recently in the behavior of the US and EU. Not surprisingly, small countries like Egypt find this system unfair, which makes it imperative to look for more effective ways of dealing with the issue of retaliation. In this lecture, Robert Lawrence discussed:
1. The reasons for retaliation; 2. How it is implemented in practice; and 3. Present a proposal that could deal with the system’s current flaws.

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Investment Climate, Growth and Employment

Speaker(s): Nicholas Stern, the World Bank

Jan 2003

Evidence suggests that improving the investment climate is key to accelerating growth of income and employment in Egypt. Building a better climate for firms to invest, generate jobs and grow is one of the two main pillars of a strategy for development. Before outlining that strategy and discussing why improvements in the investment climate matter and how they can be promoted, the lessons of development experience on which this strategy is based must be examined. This DLS addressed: 1- How important is the investment climate for growth and employment?2- How do countries improve the business environment?3- What are the implications of the lessons of experience for Egypt?

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Inequality Revisited

Speaker(s): Lyn Squire, Global Development Network

Mar 2002

The presentation focused on whether global and regional inequality increased or decreased in the 1990s; whether inequality hinders or fosters future economic growth; and the implications for Egypt.

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Winners and Losers in the Privatization Process

Speaker(s): Leroy Jones, Boston University

Jun 2001

The lecture focused broadly on who gains and who loses from privatization; the factors affecting the distribution of gains and losses; and how policy makers can use privatization to the benefit of all.

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Institutions, Regulation and Development

Speaker(s): Jean-Jacques Laffont, Institute D'Economie Industrielle, Universite des Sciences Socials-France

Oct 2000

This DLS addressed whether the developing countries should create a separate regulatory body for each infrastructure activity or a super regulatory body for all; how to set prices that reward producers and protect consumers; and how to ensure equal access of multiple providers to the network after privatization.

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Privatization and Regulation of Banks

Speaker(s): Gerard Caprio, Jr, the World Bank; Robert Cull, the World Bank

May 2000

This DLS discussed whether the privatization of banks benefits society; the preconditions for success; and the implications for Egypt.

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Alternative Exchange Rate Regimes

Speaker(s): Michael Moussa, IMF

Apr 2000

This DLS addressed the experience with alternative exchange rate regimes in developing countries; and the preconditions for a successful exchange rate policy.

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Embracing the Knowledge Economy: Egypt in the New Millennium

Speaker(s): Vincent J. Mcbrierty, Sultan Qaboos University, Oman

Oct 1999

The purpose of this lecture was to add further perspective to the economic debate in Egypt by specifically focusing on the link between new knowledge and economic progress.

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Regulatory Disputes in International Trade

Speaker(s): Roger Noll, Stanford University

Apr 1997

In this distinguished lecture, Roger Noll defined the political and economic motivations behind the current changes in international trade. He explored the implications for both developed and developing countries, and assured that the future of sustained growth lies in the marriage of trade liberalization and domestic regulatory reform.

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The Financial Sector and Economic Growth in Developing Economies

Speaker(s): Gerard Caprio, the World Bank

Jan 1997

Does finance matter to economic development? If so, why do so many developing countries find it difficult to reform their financial systems? Finally, what does all this mean for Egypt? The answers to these questions were discussed in this distinguished lecture.

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The Legal Framework for Economic Reform in Egypt

Speaker(s): Ibrahim Shehata, the World Bank

Oct 1996

In this distinguished lecture, Ibrahim Shehata, a world-renowned Egyptian thinker, addressed the issue of legal and constitutional reforms as the backbone of economic reforms applied in Egypt since 1991. The discussions focused on several issues, most importantly that legal and constitutional reform is a basic component of economic liberalization and should take place through effective public participation.

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