Category: Rethinking Yemen’s Economy


Improving Relations Between Central State Institutions and Local Authorities

Improving Relations Between Central State Institutions and Local Authorities

Local councils are responsible for spearheading development projects and providing basic public services to Yemen’s population of more than 30 million people. The councils are particularly important in rural areas, where about 70 percent of Yemen’s population lives. In July 2018, the Rethinking Yemen’s Economy initiative published a White Paper that explored how the collapse […]

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Local Economic Councils: A Tool to Improve Business Productivity in Yemen

Local Economic Councils: A Tool to Improve Business Productivity in Yemen

From 25-27 January 2021, the seventh Development Champions Forum, held virtually, focused on the dire business environment in Yemen. To help address local economic challenges, the Development Champions discussed the possibility of establishing Local Economic Councils. According to their analysis, between the community-level local development committees and the Supreme Economic Council on the national level, […]

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Priorities for the Recovery and Reform of the Electricity Sector in Yemen

Priorities for the Recovery and Reform of the Electricity Sector in Yemen

Poor electricity services in Yemen, even before the war, have been one of the key barriers to sustainable economic development and basic service provision (e.g., water supply, health care, education). This paper assesses the power supply system status prior to the war and subsequently discusses the impact of the war on electricity sector performance, followed […]

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Impacts of the War on the Telecommunications Sector in Yemen

Impacts of the War on the Telecommunications Sector in Yemen

The telecommunications and information technology sector in Yemen is the second largest source of public revenue after the petroleum sector, and contributes important work opportunities, whether directly or indirectly, through its connections to other sectors of the national economy. Some of the most important challenges of the sector are the unsuitability of the legal and […]

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Economic Priorities for a Sustainable Peace Agreement in Yemen

Economic Priorities for a Sustainable Peace Agreement in Yemen

The Development Champions Forum stresses that the sustainability of a peace agreement in Yemen will, amongst others, depend on two critical insights: First, in a conflict that is largely over access to resources, the issues of distribution and control of those resources can make or break peace. Second, where peace agreements lack provisions that create […]

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Yemen’s Accelerating Economic Woes during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Yemen’s Accelerating Economic Woes during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Since early 2015, Yemen has been almost completely dependent on three external sources to secure foreign currency inflows and stimulate economic activity: foreign humanitarian aid, Saudi financial support to the internationally recognized government, and – by far the most significant – remittances from Yemeni expatriates, most working in Saudi Arabia. All three of these foreign […]

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Microfinance in Yemen

Microfinance in Yemen

Since its introduction to Yemen in 1997, microfinance has been viewed as a strategic tool to alleviate poverty and reduce unemployment, for it provided a means for the financial inclusion and economic empowerment of small and micro entrepreneurs by expanding financial services to them. However, persistent challenges facing the microfinance industry have stunted its development, […]

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Developing Yemen’s Fishing Industry

Developing Yemen’s Fishing Industry

Yemen’s fisheries sector holds untapped promise in contributing to the national economy, with a coastline of more than 2,500 kilometers and rich fishing grounds offshore. Yet the sector has long faced many structural challenges that have limited its production and potential contribution to overall economic output, which have been exacerbated during the ongoing conflict. This […]

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Deterioration of the Foreign Exchange Rate of the Yemeni Rial

Deterioration of the Foreign Exchange Rate of the Yemeni Rial

The Development Champions Forum held multiple online discussions in the period from 20-24 June 2020 to discuss the reasons behind the recent deterioration in the foreign exchange rate of the Yemeni rial. The Champions also discussed possible immediate interventions that can be applied by the concerned parties to curb the rial’s depreciation against foreign currencies. […]

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Economic Priorities for a Sustainable Peace Agreement in Yemen

Economic Priorities for a Sustainable Peace Agreement in Yemen

The sustainability of a peace agreement in Yemen will, amongst others, depend on two critical insights: First, in a conflict that is largely over access to resources, the issues of distribution and control of those resources can make or break peace. Second, where peace agreements lack provisions that create overall economic stability, warfare can resume […]

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Microfinance in Yemen. An Overview of Challenges and Opportunities

Microfinance in Yemen. An Overview of Challenges and Opportunities

This White Paper explores the historic development of Yemen’s microfinance industry and its players, as well as the impacts of the ongoing conflict. This analysis is followed by recommendations that address four specific areas – capacity building, financing, program design and research – to help create a more conducive operating environment for microfinance overall. The […]

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Developing Yemen’s Fishing Industry

Developing Yemen’s Fishing Industry

This policy brief summarizes discussions regarding Yemen’s fishing industry at a ‘Rethinking Yemen’s Economy’ workshop held in al-Mukalla, Yemen, on November 26-28, 2019. The workshop participants, among them numerous stakeholders in the fishing industry from across Yemen, agreed that given the inability of the Ministry of Fish Wealth to carry out its basic institutional functions […]

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Developing Human Capital

Developing Human Capital

This Policy Brief summarizes discussions regarding Yemen’s human capital at a ‘Rethinking Yemen’s Economy’ workshop held in Amman, Jordan, on August 24-25, 2019. The workshop participants agreed that many of the obstacles to improving Yemen’s human capital were present prior to the current conflict. This Policy Brief thus recommends: countrywide population surveys; more funding of […]

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Corruption in Yemen

Corruption in Yemen

Corruption, or the abuse of power for private gain, has been deeply entrenched in the Yemeni political economy for decades. Over the course of the ongoing conflict, however, state capture in Yemen has become far more complex, and new patronage networks have emerged with interests that have extended across national borders and crossed the frontlines […]

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The Essential Role of Remittances in Mitigating Economic Collapse

The Essential Role of Remittances in Mitigating Economic Collapse

Scarce opportunities to earn a viable livelihood in Yemen continue to drive hundreds of thousands of Yemenis abroad in search of work, especially to neighboring countries. Over time, remittances from Yemeni expatriates have become one of the most important sources of foreign currency inflows into Yemen and have played an essential role in mitigating economic […]

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Generating New Employment Opportunities II: Labor Force, Labor Market and Expatriates

Generating New Employment Opportunities II: Labor Force, Labor Market and Expatriates

Decades of political instability and cyclical armed conflict have curtailed Yemen’s economic growth, job creation and labor productivity. Sharing a collective sense of urgency to address Yemen’s worsening economic and humanitarian crises, 22 of Yemen’s leading socioeconomic experts convened as part of the Rethinking Yemen’s Economy initiative to discuss job creation in Yemen and develop […]

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Transitional Government in Post-Conflict Yemen

Transitional Government in Post-Conflict Yemen

To maximize the effectiveness of governance in post-conflict Yemen, two options stand out for the composition of an immediate post-conflict government to lead a transitional period in the country. First, a consensus government with cabinet seats divided among the key Yemeni political factions. Second, a technocratic caretaker government appointed by a consensus prime minister. In […]

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Generating New Employment Opportunities I: Yemeni Labour Market

Generating New Employment Opportunities I: Yemeni Labour Market

Decades of political instability and cyclical armed conflict have curtailed Yemen’s economic growth, job creation and labor productivity. Before the current conflict, much of the country’s working population was engaged in unskilled labor, working in rural agriculture or informally employed in small businesses. Sharing a collective sense of urgency to address Yemen’s worsening economic and […]

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The Development Champions

The Development Champions

The Development Champions are a group of senior Yemeni experts and professionals from various backgrounds and with established expertise in development and economy. The Development Champions discuss priorities for intervention by national and international policymakers, issue respective recommendations and are thus at the heart of the Rethinking Yemen’s Economy initiative. The aim of this initiative […]

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The Road to Reconstruction

The Road to Reconstruction

The ongoing conflict in Yemen has imposed grievous costs on Yemenis, damaging lives, property, and infrastructure, and collapsing the country’s already fragile economy. And yet the conflict will eventually subside. Previous reconstruction efforts in Yemen following conflict or natural disaster have suffered from lack of coordination with and unrealistic expectations from international donors, as well […]

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The Need to Reform the Public Sector Wage Bill

The Need to Reform the Public Sector Wage Bill

This Policy Brief addresses the issue of Yemen’s bloated public sector. Amid consistently large budget deficits, the inflated public sector wage bill is fiscally unsustainable and threatens to undermine economic recovery and future stability in Yemen. Recognizing the multiple challenges of reforming the public sector, even in a stable country, the recommendations brought forward in this […]

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Local Governance in Yemen

Local Governance in Yemen

Local councils are among Yemen’s most important state institutions. Responsible for providing basic public services to millions of Yemenis, local councils represent official governance and the Yemeni state for vast swathes of the population. The intensification of the conflict since March 2015, however, has undermined the councils’ ability to operate effectively in most areas of […]

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Transitional Government in Post-Conflict Yemen

Transitional Government in Post-Conflict Yemen

This Policy Brief offers recommendations to maximize the effectiveness of governance in post-conflict Yemen – whatever the composition or structure of the government. It presents three case studies on government models previously introduced in Yemen, Tunisia and Lebanon after periods of instability. These case studies offer useful lessons on the challenges, risks and opportunities of […]

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Reconstruction and Recovery in Yemen

Reconstruction and Recovery in Yemen

This Policy Brief brings forward the results of in-depth discussions held by the Development Champions with the aim of developing recommendations and guidelines to ensure the reconstruction and recovery of Yemen is a comprehensive, effective process that has a long-term positive impact. The Champions’ recommendations include measures to link immediate humanitarian interventions to Yemen’s long-term […]

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Economic Confidence-Building Measures – Civil Servant Salaries

Economic Confidence-Building Measures – Civil Servant Salaries

This Policy Brief brings forward crucial recommendations resulting out of the fourth Development Champions Forum in Amman, held in December 2018. The Development Champions recommend that the Yemeni government resumes salary payments to all civil servants working in the administrative apparatus of the state registered in the Ministry of Civil Service database of 2014 across […]

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Local Governance in Yemen Amid Conflict and Instability

Local Governance in Yemen Amid Conflict and Instability

This White Paper deals with the role of local councils in Yemen and analyses their current situation. In the absence of central state authority and despite all the challenges they face, these councils remain important instruments for coordinating humanitarian relief efforts and local-level conflict mediation. Local councils are among the best-equipped and best-established institutions to […]

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