By Ghazi Ben Ahmed and Ellen Laipson – North Africa remains one of the least integrated regions in the world, which has considerable consequences for its development potential. Intra-regional trade hovers at a mere two to three percent of total trade (compared to intra-regional trade in Europe or Asia at over 60 percent of total), while the economies are too weak to create jobs for the unemployed. Failure to address this issue with an effective job creation policy poses significant risks to social stability and could lead to the same explosive conditions that sparked the revolutions in 2010 and 2011.
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This article first appeared in the Spring 2013 issue of The Outpost.