Business Magazine

MENA Info: Providing the Tools for Change in the Middle East

Posted on the 05 April 2013 by Center For International Private Enterprise @CIPEglobal


Language is essential.  Words in one’s native language convey depths of meaning that translations obscure.  Experience is priceless.  Knowledge gained through practical experience provides lessons needed to overcome the next challenge.

Guided by these principles, CIPE’s “MENA Info” program has become the foremost Arabic-language internet resource on topics of democratic and market-oriented reform.  Throughout the Middle East, when practitioners and scholars search Google for materials on جمعيات الأعمال (Business Associations), ريادية الأعمال (Entrepreneurship), حوكمة الشركات (Corporate Governance), and  حشد التأييد(Policy Advocacy), CIPE’s dedicated Arabic-language website,, is the first result returned. 

CIPE draws on almost three decades of global experience to provide reformers in the Middle East with the knowledge and tools to create lasting changes in their societies. When requested by partners and stakeholders, CIPE provides these materials directly.  In Syria, CIPE supplied the Syrian Economic Forum, a newly founded think tank, with essays and guidebooks about how to start and grow a think tank, as well as the roles think tanks play in the public policy debate.   CIPE also provided its partner in Algeria, Cercle d’Action et de Réflexion autour de l’Entreprise (CARE), with materials in French that present new approaches to tackling issues in the informal sector.

CIPE’s knowledge sharing approach also draws on a growing network of Arabic and French-speaking contributors for timely commentaries on prominent local issues.  Mohammed Maytamee’s “The Inflated State in Yemen” and Ayman Saalem’s “Surprising Features of Egypt’s Domestic Workforce” are two resources that highlight the great potential of the private sector in Middle East societies.

History has shown that creating lasting change in transitioning countries is a challenging endeavor.

Through these initiatives, CIPE has provided reformers with tools tailored to their unique needs during this time of momentous change in the Middle East.

John Zanikos is Program Assistant for the Middle East and North Africa at CIPE.

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