According to Jihad Azour, Director of the Middle East and Central Asia Department of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the region should continue to invest in technology infrastructure, especially in 5G, as it could be a major driver of growth and mitigation of the impacts of the current pandemic.
While addressing the virtual panel on mitigating the long-lasting impacts of COVID-19 in the Middle East and North Africa, organized by the IMF in partnership with the New South and National Policy Centers, he noted this. Azour said that the COVID crisis was different from the previous crisis, where people’s livelihoods were instantly affected.
It is not the only solution to understand the problems, but how to translate it into action otherwise is crucial, it will only remain a concept. He also said that increased use of technology is a challenge, but it can be mitigated and can become a major growth engine. Although they were unable to go to school and several activities remained alive, digitization allowed children to stay in education.
Prior to the 2008 position, the region that has 12 countries did not meet the FDI stage. We need to be open to the private sector because, he added, only the private sector will generate enough employment to meet the population’s aspirations.
He further claimed that the highest priority for saving people should be social security, and that governments should reallocate spending even if they do not have room to do so. The IMF official went on to say that some operations and sectors were disrupted. He said it was strongly influenced by tourism. This is acceleration, as the technology travels very rapidly. He said that this was not a new development, but that the situation was accelerating.