IMF Holds Middle East Youth Roundtable in Amman, Jordan

Press Release
March 9, 2010

Students from the University of Jordan in Amman met today with staff from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as part of the series of roundtable discussions being held at universities throughout the Middle East and North Africa under the IMF Youth Dialog.

The roundtables are an initiative undertaken to seek the views of the next generation of the region’s leaders on issues related to the economic policy challenges facing the Middle East. The Amman session was the fifth in the series of student meetings, following Lahore, Pakistan; Beirut, Lebanon; Cairo, Egypt; and Ifrane, Morocco.

The objective of the initiative is to work with university students to better understand their views on their economic future and to contribute to the evolution of their perspectives on the policy measures that will be needed to bring sustainable and job-creating economic growth to the Middle East. As was the case with the earlier roundtables, the Jordanian students gave particular attention to the issue of youth employment in the region.

“During the course of the roundtables, it has become very clear that university students are very focused on their job prospects in the wake of the global financial crisis,” said Saade Chami, Director of the Middle East Technical Assistance Center (Metac), a Beirut-based collaboration of the IMF, bilateral and other multilateral donors that provides technical assistance in macroeconomic and financial management to countries in the region. “They offered many thoughtful ideas and proposals for policies that might help resolve the problem, and we intend to present their ideas to our IMF colleagues.”

The students also discussed many other challenges facing the region, including the importance of government transparency, the need for improvements in infrastructure, and role of the IMF in helping to bring about sustained economic growth.

The previous roundtables in the IMF Youth Dialog were held at the Lahore School of Economics, American University of Beirut, Cairo University, and Morocco’s Al Akhawayn University. The IMF will hold similar events with students from universities in Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and the United Arab Emirates throughout March 2010. The roundtable discussions will be followed by other events to continue and deepen the dialogue. In addition, the Youth Dialog has an online dimension with a website where visitors can interact and post their thoughts:

"The students were very engaged in the discussion and had interesting perspectives on the economic challenges they face,” said Nada Choueiri of the IMF External Relations Department.” I think that taking into account their views can only benefit our efforts to give the governments of the region good economic policy advice."


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