Business Magazine

Democracy’s Dignity Dividend

Posted on the 07 August 2012 by Center For International Private Enterprise @CIPEglobal

Writing in RealClearWorld on August 3, 2012, CIPE Senior Program Officer Greg Simpson discusses how “it was a call for dignity, more than anything, that drove youth and other activists across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA region) to rise up and demand freedom, opportunity, and an end to decades of oppression, corruption and authoritarian rule.” However, without providing real economic opportunities to their citizens, newly democratic governments throughout the Arab world will not be able to deliver on the promise of dignity.

Although many of the frustrations that led to the Arab Spring uprisings were economic in nature, including those that led Tunisian fruit seller Mohammed Bouazizi to immolate himself in January 2011, real progress on addressing the institutional barriers that face entrepreneurs has been slow. Simpson argues that entrepreneurship intiatives, which have proliferated in the wake of the Arab Spring, must take into account these institutional factors rather than focusing on individual entrepreneurs if they are going to provide meaningful opportunity for all citizens.

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