The 1st Annual Central Bank Conference on Development Economics in the Middle East and North Africa titled "Macroeconomic Policy: Innovation and Challenges during Uncertain Times” was held online. It featured opening remarks by Roberta Gatti (World Bank Chief Economist for MENA); a keynote speech by Carmen Reinhart (Vice President and Chief Economist of the World Bank Group); a session on Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) comprising John Kiff (formerly of the IMF and the Central Bank of Canada), Maria Soledad Martinez Peria (IMF); and a concluding panel of MENA Central Bank Governors moderated by Ferid Belhaj (World Bank Vice President for MENA).
Date: Dec. 1- 2, 2021
Hosted by: Central Bank of Tunisia
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Central banks have been at the forefront of the COVID-19 crisis to mitigate their effects through accommodative monetary policy responses in environments characterized by constrained fiscal policy and high public debt in the MENA region. This new environment opens numerous questions on how to design monetary policy under uncertainty. Indeed, the growing risk of economic disruptions, both in the region and further afield, underlines the need to devise effective monetary policies to enable MENA countries to prepare for, withstand and recover from disasters. Furthermore, developments in fintech, blockchain, and digital currencies are offering both opportunities and challenges to central banks. By profoundly changing the world we live in, these innovations are forcing institutions like central banks to anticipate how high-tech financial solutions could enhance efficiency and outputs across a range of industries.
The 1st Annual Central Bank Conference on Development Economics in the Middle East and North Africa was organized by the Regional Research Network of Central Banks in the MENA region and the World Bank Office of the MENA Chief Economist. It was hosted by Central Bank of Tunisia.
The conference was held online via the Zoom platform. It included also a keynote speech by Carmen Reinhart (Vice President and Chief Economist of the World Bank Group); a session on Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) comprising John Kiff (formerly of the IMF and the Central Bank of Canada), Maria Soledad Martinez Peria (IMF); and a concluding panel of MENA Central Bank Governors moderated by Ferid Belhaj (World Bank Vice President for MENA).
The conference had three pairs of parallel sessions during with a total of 18 research papers presented, grouped by the following session themes: Macro Modelling in the COVID Era; Finance and Macroeconomics; Crisis Impact on the Banking Sector; Macroeconomics of Calamities; Managing Business Cycles; and Financial Risks in MENA and Policy Implications from Banking Sector. The latter parallel session included a presentation by Leora Klapper on the Financial Risks Facing MENA Region in light of the forthcoming World Development Report of the World Bank.
Call for papers
The RRN of Central Bank Research Departments of MENA asked for submissions of research papers to be presented at the 1st Annual Conference on Development Economics in MENA in 2021.
The Conference Scientific Committee sought economic research papers on but not limited to the following topics:
- Conducting monetary policy in high debt environments.
- Supporting growth and recovery in times of COVID-19.
- The future of finance and implications of digital currencies.
While the Scientific Committee is looking for state-of-the-art research papers, the policy implications of the research conducted and analyses of policy responses in the above-mentioned themes are particularly appreciated.
The deadline for submitting a complete paper was on October 22nd, 2021.
The authors of accepted papers were notified by November 10th, 2021. Only authors of accepted papers were notified.