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Economic Diversification, Energy Transition, and the Labor Market in Iraq and the Gulf

As part of a continued collaboration with the Middle East Peace and Security Forum held in Iraqi Kurdistan at the American University of Kurdistan, the Middle East Institute and the Iraq Policy Group held a workshop on Nov. 15, 2022 focusing on challenges of economic diversification, energy transition, and impacts on labor markets in Iraq and the Gulf region.

Our one-day workshop included representatives from local government, economic and energy experts, international development specialists, and a youth cohort, who presented their own views and experiences, especially on expectations of job creation and inclusion in clean energy production. Our conversations were frank, open, and an opportunity to talk about policy recommendations as well as on-the-ground understandings of fiscal challenges and future growth. These kinds of collaborations are vital to scholarship, but more important to build bridges between regional experts, institutional linkages, and to young people experiencing the day to day, the dramatic changes in energy security and economic governance of Iraq. This report provides the insights and analyses of a select group of participants from the workshop, previously published as standalone articles on the MEI website.

1. Kurdistan gas and diversification –– Robin M. Mills, Columbia University
2. The geopolitics of energy transition in MENA: Mitigating risks, exploring new opportunities, –– Younes Abouyoub, United Nations
3. Iraq needs renewables, but they won’t solve its power problems without broader reforms, –– Jessica Obeid, Middle East Institute
4. The GCC and the road to net zero, –– Aisha Al-Sarihi, National University of Singapore
5. Youth dynamics & Iraq’s energy future, Salam Jabbar Shahab, Iraq Policy Group; World Bank

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