The World Economic Forum (WEF), a Geneva-based non-profit organization best known for its Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, analysed 124 countries on how well they are developing and deploying their human capital.

According to the ensuing WEF’s Human Capital Index report developing people’s talents and helping them reach their full potential is still not a concept that is on all MENA’s leadership agenda.

More specifically, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait were found to be not doing enough to develop talent of their youth despite the fact that their economies command a much higher-income and as it were easy revenues.  This is also in the background of both countries relying fairly heavily on expatriate workers in all productive sectors notably industry, construction, retails, education and healthcare.

They have as a consequence been ranked 85th and 93rd respectively.

The report however ranked Israel at the 29th place (the highest in the MENA region), followed by the United Arab Emirates at 54th and Qatar at 56th.

It also found that Jordan at 76th and Egypt at 84th not only outperformed much higher-income economies like Saudi Arabia ranked at 85th and Kuwait (93rd), but mid-income Morocco (95th), Tunisia (98th), Algeria (114th),as well as thos at the bottom like Mauritania (122nd) and Yemen (124th).

The Human Capital Index ranked the countries it analysed on how well they are developing and deploying their human capital, focusing on education, skills and employment.  It aims to understand whether countries are wasting or leveraging their human potential.  It founder and executive chairman, Karl Schwab said :

“Talent, not capital, will be the key factor linking innovation, competitiveness and growth in the 21st century.   To make any of the changes necessary to unlock the world’s latent talent – and hence its growth potential – we must look beyond campaign cycles and quarterly reports.  Dialogue, collaboration and partnerships between all sectors are crucial for the adaptation of educational institutions, governments and businesses.”

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