Why the Status Quo Is Unsustainable

  • Mohammed Akacem
  • Dennis Dixon Miller
  • John Leonard Faulkner


MENA’s economies have not delivered when it comes to meeting the needs of their growing population and the aspirations of the youth by creating jobs. As a result, people have protested demanding change during the Arab Spring and recently, 2019, in Algeria. The region’s economies rely excessively on oil for all their hard currency earnings to import food and to buy the peace, while the autocrats enrich themselves.

Such an approach is not a long-term solution without serious structural changes in the economy as well as meeting the challenges from:
  • The shale oil revolution that competes for the same markets as MENA’s

  • The development of energy alternatives and renewable energy

  • Efforts to mitigate climate change

These will result in a decrease in the demand for MENA’s oil and fossil fuels, which should give them an incentive to embark on an economic diversifying program and to encourage foreign direct investment. Such a course of action requires an institutional environment that is conducive to such a policy.


  1. CNN (2017) Moammar Gadhafi Fast Facts. CNN Library, 9 May. Accessed 21 May 2019
  2. Ormsby E (2019) ‘Arabs’ review: one tongue, many peoples. Wall Street J, 26 April, a book review quoting Tim Mackintosh-Smith from his book, Arabs: a 3,000-year history of peoples, tribes and empires, New Haven Yale University PressGoogle Scholar
  3. Raghavan S (2019 Their president gone, Algerians now want democracy. Will the army allow it? The Washington Post, 3 April.
  4. World Bank (2008) The road not traveled: education reform in the Middle East and North Africa. MENA Development Report. World Bank, Washington, DC. © World Bank. License: CC BY 3.0 IGOGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mohammed Akacem
    • 1
  • Dennis Dixon Miller
    • 2
  • John Leonard Faulkner
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Economics Campus Box 77Metropolitan State University of DenverDenverUSA
  2. 2.Baldwin Wallace UniversityBereaUSA
  3. 3.ArlingtonUSA

Personalised recommendations