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Tuesday 30th of August 2016

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Will Saudi Arabia’s plans for a new city be successful?

BBC News asked in a TV programme one evening of February 5th, 2016 this question: Will Saudi Arabia’s plans for a new city be successful? The show went on to elaborate how Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) is one of the most ambitious construction projects in the world and that would have made sense at a time when oil was $100+ a barrel. A premise of an answer could be found to a certain degree in the location of this new town, i.e. on the western seaboard as opposed to the oil rich eastern one. McKinsey published this article written by the same Fahd Al-Rasheed interviewed by the BBC’s Stephen Sackur in the above mentioned programme. Slight but noticeable different stance could be discerned. Learn from the past, build for the future: Saudi Arabia’s new city on the Red Sea By Fahd Al-Rasheed To build a city from scratch, create a solid economic foundation. Three millennia ago, Akhenaten began construction of the Egyptian city of Amarna—perhaps the first example of planned urban infrastructure in recorded history. Within a decade of Akhenaten’s death, Amarna was abandoned—ancient evidence that building infrastructure and convincing people to use it are two fundamentally different challenges. Building an economic infrastructure King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) is the world’s largest privately funded city. Located about 100 kilometers north of Jeddah on the coast of the Red Sea, KAEC is a public–private partnership

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Iraq set to get back to its pre-war Market Share

A piece of information as reported by Reuters yesterday Saturday August 27, 2016 regarding an OPEC member oil producer of importance. That is Iraq set to get back to its pre-war Market Share. Its sight is on expanding its production and would not hear of reducing it at the forthcoming September meeting of Algiers.
A general view shows a lake of oil at Al-Sheiba oil refinery in the southern Iraq city of Basra, in this January 26, 2016 file photo. Iraq set on expanding oil output to gain market share
Flames emerge from a pipeline at the oil fields in Basra, southeast of Baghdad. (Image: Reuters)
Iraq is willing to play an active role within OPEC to support oil prices but will not sacrifice its goal of expanding market share and will continue to ramp up output, its oil minister said on Saturday.
Jabar Ali al-Luaibi, on a visit to the southern oil city of Basra, renewed calls for local and international oil companies in Iraq to increase production and announced plans to double crude storage capacity at the country’s southern export terminals to 24 million barrels in the “coming years” from 12 million barrels currently.
“The ministry has new ambitious plans to develop the oil sector,” he told reporters. “Among them, the most important is to increase crude output to reach a level that suits Iraq’s needs; we don’t want to specify a ceiling for future production like in the past.”

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Middle Eastern nations paying big bucks for an Olympics Medal

Whilst certain oil-rich countries got some medals as alleged in this CNBC programme as through importing African born elite athletes, we propose for this weekend, that other article of how the different countries earned their trophies. The devex report does obviously not take into account the likes of Bahrain, say, for this is just one example of tiny Middle Eastern nations paying big bucks for an Olympics medal by importing top-notch African talent.

In effect, Bahrain’s Olympic track and field team is composed of runners from Kenya and Ethiopia, with others from Jamaica, Morocco and Nigeria and no runners born in the country.

Meanwhile, 1 week after the closing ceremony of the games, devex published on August 26, 2016, this article written by Naki B. Mendoza. We reproduce it and we suggest its reading should be in conjunction with our previously published other article on the Rio Olympics.

What the Olympic medal tally tells us about developing countries

All the goals have been scored, finish lines crossed and champions crowned. The 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics are officially in the books. The gaze of the sporting world now shifts to Tokyo, host of the 2020 Games, but not without first fixating on the final medal count from Rio de Janeiro.

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Engineered Bridging through the GCC’s

Saudi Arabia has decided to directly connect its Eastern province mainland to its closest neighbouring island of Bahrain and peninsula of Qatar through road and railway bridges. The programmed Engineered bridging through the GCC’s could mean that work on these two proposed bridges would be expected to begin in the near future; an official has been quoted as saying.
The awarding of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar has ignited a flurry of construction activity in that country as well as in those neighbouring ones; but the landscapes has not markedly evolved to now or at least not until the recently commissioned infrastructures projects will come to be concretely offered to the respective countries public.
A previous article on the subject was published on October 8, 2015 in MENA-Forum under the title of Push for another Causeway ?
The drop in oil price meanwhile, has affected most development programmes but obviously did not deter through all this period, a lot of success stories to come to be known.
The proposed developments were covered in a working paper to highlight future cooperation between the Gulf

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Africa at the Mercy of its Corrupt Elites

The World Economic Forum published on Friday 19 August 2016 an article written by Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director, Oxfam International on how corruption is nowadays blatantly generalised to all Africa without any distinction of regions and / or countries. We would therefore assume that this unfortunate phenomenon of Africa at the mercy of its corrupt elites is witnessed throughout the continent from the shores of the Mediterranean to those of the Atlantic as well as to those of the Indian Ocean. The article is obviously written about those sub-Saharan countries but the narrative could very well apply to all North African ones as well without exception. In any case, the African leadership should not be seen as the unique culprit in this situation; the world’s financial and business development elites, according to many, have also had at least some facilitating hand into the phenomenon. The ever increasing waves of migrants pushed away from their original countries could perhaps be seen as the first phenomenon resulting from desperation of the many in face of the few powerful and corrupt elites of Africa.

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International Media on Algeria

In response to POLITICO’s article titled “EU’s energy hopes for Algeria tied to leadership change”, and to International media on Algeria, I would propose this present contribution about security and economic relations of Algeria with the European Union, eventually contributing to an objective debate.
The wish, in the face of the seemingly long lasting fall of the price of oil, would be some smooth ‘snap of fingers’ change in the policy of the Algerian Government that sped up reforms in order to avoid destabilization of the country and potentially the region. This was confirmed to me during my conference at the invitation of the European Parliament and recently by officials of the European Union (EU). Certainly, action against terrorism of the ANP and security forces is strongly welcomed by the international community, but in the future to share expenses by a regional agreement. It was however never a question of either the EU or the USA to freeze economic cooperation with Algeria.
According to POLITICO, citing an anonymous source in the EU, Brussels would . . .

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O t h e r   W o r l d   N e w s 

B e s t    o f    t h e     B l o g ‘ s   M o n t h 

Children in Britain today

by | Jul 16, 2016 | Developed Countries, Education & Culture, U K |0 comments

Children in Britain today

Education – A short account . . .

Children in Britain today often moan and groan about setting out on a winter’s morning to spend the day at school.  Education is, of course, compulsory to the age eighteen now.  Teenagers’ hormonally altered sleep patterns make early rising difficult.

There have been challenges to the `norms’ of education and then challenges to the things that replaced it.

One of the biggest influences on the school experience in my lifetime is probably the abandonment of corporal punishment in 1986 in State Schools.  The practice was generally in some decline during the preceding years, it always added a frisson of fear whilst there.

Read more at http://www.mena-forum.com/19976-2/

Sign & Graphic Imaging in the MENA

by | Jul 18, 2016 | Computing agility, Design, Diversification of the economy, Dubai, Gulf Cooperation Council, MENA, Youth employment | 0 comments

Sign & Graphic Imaging in the MENA

3D printing at Sign & Graphic Imaging Trade show 2017 . . .

DUBAI, July 17th, 2016.  The 3D printing industry is poised to spiral to new heights in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, said the organisers of the upcoming Sign & Graphic Imaging, SGI Dubai 2017 , a leading trade show for the signage, outdoor media, screen and digital printing industry.

The 20th edition of the show will be held from January 15 to 17, 2017 at the Dubai World Trade Centre.  Read more at http://www.mena-forum.com/sign-graphic-imaging/




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