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DATE: October 13, 2017

DAY: Friday

11:00 AM - 12:15 PM

LOCATION: IMF HQ1 – Meetings Halls A&B

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Technology is radically changing how societies interact and adapt. As MENA countries seek new engines of growth amid lower oil prices and persistent conflicts in parts of the region, the technology revolution could help transform their economies. But technology is not a silver bullet. It brings opportunities for some while others may lose. This seminar examines how new technologies might affect the economic well-being of MENA citizens—and what policymakers can do to maximize the benefits.

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How Technology Can Improve Growth in MENA

How Technology Can Improve Growth in MENA


Moderator: Mina Al-Oraibi

Mina Al-Oraibi is the Editor in Chief of The National, a daily English language regional media outlet based in Abu Dhabi. Mina has over 20 years of experience covering Middle Eastern, European and American affairs.

Prior to assuming the role of Editor in Chief of The National, Mina was a Senior Fellow at the Institute for State Effectiveness (ISE) and a Yale World Fellow. At ISE, Mina worked on developing policy recommendations for improved governance in the Middle East and North Africa region, with a focus on Iraq and Syria.

Mina was the Assistant Editor-in-Chief of Asharq Alawsat, the international Arab-language daily newspaper based in London 2011-2015. Before that, she was the Washington Bureau Chief for the newspaper.

In addition to her writing in The National, Mina is a columnist for Foreign Policyand Asharq Alawsat.Mina is an Advisor to the Global Dignity Day Movement and a member of the International Media Council. She is also a member of the board of trustees of the American University in Iraq - Sulaimani. Mina was named as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. She completed her Bachelors of Arts (Honours) and Masters of Arts in Modern History from University College London.

Panelist: Ahmed Al-Bader

Ahmed Al-Bader is the cofounder of, which leverages technology to connect GCC healthcare actors and which won the Best Arab Startup Championship in 2017. He introduced microfinancing for healthcare procedures to Saudi Arabia and has founded other online portals. Mr. Al-Bader was previously advisor to the Saudi Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Chief Strategy Officer of the Saudi Industrial Property Authority “MODON,” acting director for the National Industrial Strategy, and an advisor to the King Abdul Aziz Center for National Dialogue and to other private public and private institutions. Mr. Al-Bader holds a master’s degree from Oxford University.  

Panelist: Ola Doudin

Ola Doudin is cofounder & CEO of BitOasis, a digital currency consumer platform focused on Middle East’s emerging market. Previously, she worked in Technology Advisory at Ernst & Young, and on various tech entrepreneurship and support initiatives across MENA.

Panelist: Mitsuhiro Furusawa

Mitsuhiro Furusawa has been a Deputy Managing Director with the International Monetary Fund since 2015. Prior to joining the Fund, he was Special Advisor to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Special Advisor to the Minister of Finance. Mr. Furusawa formerly held several senior positions in the Ministry of Finance of Japan including as Vice Minister of Finance for International Affairs and Director-General of the Financial Bureau. He holds an LL.B. degree from the University of Tokyo and also graduated from the École Nationale d’Administration in Paris.

Panelist: Sherif Kamel

Sherif Kamel is professor of management and founding dean of the school of business at the American University in Cairo, where he established the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and the Venture Lab. He has long experience with the government and the civil society in Egypt in building and managing executive development institutions addressing information technology, management, entrepreneurship, and leadership.  His research is broadly published in information systems and management journals and books. He is an Eisenhower Fellow and a founding member of the Internet Society of Egypt, and was a board member of the Egyptian American Enterprise Fund.