Global Development Debate: Jobs and Opportunities for All | World Bank Institute (WBI)

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Please also see the Feature story about the Jobs debate.  


This event was one of the official Program of Seminars that took place during the 2011 Annual Meetings of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund.

The debate is also part of an ongoing series of Global and Regional Development Debates that provide a platform for capturing, distilling, and disseminating knowledge on current cross-cutting topics.

The audience included Annual Meetings participants from visiting country delegations, as well as participants from several selected country sites. These sites were: Jordan, Kenya, Mexico, and Uganda. 


What drives job creation? This has become a challenging question in both developed and developing countries. For example, social unrest in a number of Middle East and North Africa (MENA) countries has captured global attention because of its speed and contagion effects. While there are a number of contributing factors, stubbornly high levels of unemployment, particularly among youth, are a major source of dissatisfaction in the Middle East. High unemployment has persisted even though a number of countries in the region have experienced strong economic growth in the past decade.

Therefore policies, complementing the ones being used to enhance economic growth, may be needed to stimulate employment creation. The unemployment problem is exacerbated by the youthful demographic bulge that calls for the creation of millions of jobs a year for the next 20 years in MENA, South Asia, and Africa. In addition, because many of the unemployed or underemployed are tertiary level graduates, mere employment creation may not suffice.


You may also be interested in attending the e-Institute's 4-week "Policies for Jobs" e-course! It will be offered October 03, 2011 to October 31, 2011 (Application deadline: September 23, 2011); and again February 20, 2012 to March 19, 2012 (Application deadline: January 31, 2012).

Moderator:  Chrystia Freeland, Global Editor-at-Large, Reuters, United States

Chrystia Freeland is Global Editor-at-Large, Reuters. In this role, she serves as Reuters’ principal on-air pundit for external broadcast partners. She writes a weekly column for Previously, she served as the US managing editor of the Financial Times (FT). During this time, the FT’s US print edition became the single largest edition of the FT. Before that, Ms. Freeland was deputy editor, Financial Times in London, editor of the FT’s weekend edition, editor of, UK news editor, Moscow bureau chief, and Eastern Europe correspondent. She is the author of Sale of a Century, which details Russia’s journey from communism to capitalism. She is currently writing her second book on the global super-elite. Ms. Freeland received her bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and a Master of Studies degree from St. Anthony’s College at Oxford University, which she attended as a Rhodes Scholar.


Saïd Aidi, Minister of Vocational Training and Employment, Tunisia 

Saïd Aidi is Minister of Vocational Training and Employment of Tunisia. Mr. Aidi began his career in 1985 at the research and development center of the Compagnie Générale Informatique in Paris and in Marseille. In 1993, he worked at IBM where he developed consulting and implementation solutions for human resources management in Tunisia and Africa. In 2002, he served as Director of human capital management services at IBM for the Francophone Africa region.  In 2004, he created Atlasys, an independent company specialized in consulting and engineering solutions for human resources. In 2006, Mr. Aidi was appointed CEO of HR Access Middle East and Africa, a multinational company specializing in publishing software and outsourcing human resources, and is an executive committee member of HR Access worldwide.

Stella Li, Senior Vice President, BYD Company Limited, China

Stella Li is one of the founders of BYD Company Limited and now a Senior Vice-President.  BYD was established in 1995 and now has 180,000 employees. It engages in research, production, and sale of rechargeable batteries, automobile parts, liquid crystal display (LC), and other electronic products.  It is the largest local car maker in China focusing on low-end small cars, and the largest rechargeable batteries supplier in the world.  Ms. Li has held several positions in BYD and is currently in charge of BYD’s strategy development and operations management, as well as overseas business. 

Alia El Mahdi, Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Political Science, Cairo University, Egypt

Alia El Mahdi has been Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Political Science, Cairo University since August 2008, and Professor of Economics, Cairo University since 1995. Her main areas of specialization are macroeconomic analysis and labor market research. During the last 20 years she has been heavily involved in conducting economic surveys. Her fields of research have varied and have included topics such as labor market research projects, micro and small enterprises surveys, empirical studies on industrial enterprises especially in the areas of textiles and electronics, and industrial complexes/clusters. During the last seven years she has been engaged in socio-economic household surveys and socio-economic and political polls. 

Manish Sabharwal, CEO, TeamLease, India

Manish Sabharwal is CEO of TeamLease, which is now a leading staffing company that provides a range of temporary and permanent manpower solutions to over 1,000 clients. TeamLease started operations in 2002 and now has 75,000 employees in over 600 locations. A core team of 1,000+ employees operates via a network of branches that give them a national footprint. The company is the country’s largest human resource services provider and is on track to be India’s largest private employer by 2010.