Economic Research Forum (ERF)

Mahmoud Mohieldin


Mahmoud Mohieldin
Professor, Department of Economics - Cairo University, Egypt and Special Envoy on Financing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development - United Nations

Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin is an economist with more than 30 years of experience in international finance and development. He is the UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for Egypt. He has been the United Nations Special Envoy on Financing the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda since February 2020. He was the Minister of Investment of Egypt from 2004-2010, and most recently, served as the World Bank Group Senior Vice President for the 2030 Development Agenda, United Nations Relations and Partnerships. Dr. Mohieldin also served on several Boards of Directors in the Central Bank of Egypt and the corporate sector. His professional experience extends into the academic arena as a Professor of Economics and Finance at the Faculty of Economics and Political Science, Cairo University and as a Visiting Professor at several renowned Universities in Egypt, Korea, the UAE, the UK and the USA. Dr. Mohieldin holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Warwick, United Kingdom; a Master’s in Economics and Social Policy Analysis from the University of York, United Kingdom; a Diploma of Development Economics from the University of Warwick; and a B.Sc. in Economics from Cairo University. He has authored numerous publications and articles in leading journals in the fields of economics, finance and development.

Content by this Author

Investing in climate action and the SDGs for a resilient future

The interlinked crises of climate change, lingering effects of Covid-19 and the ensuing food and energy crises need to be tackled together – and as this column explains, this is best done within the broader context of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and in a framework of effective partnerships.

No net zero without nature

Preserving nature is a key element in the world’s effort both to mitigate and adapt to climate change, and it also happens to be good for business. But new findings reported in this Project Syndicate column, show that much of the private sector continues to lag far behind in tackling deforestation and protecting biodiversity.

Preventing developing economy debt disasters

Skyrocketing food and energy prices, together with widening sovereign bond spreads, have placed balance sheets in emerging market and developing economies under severe strain. This Project Syndicate column argues that to avoid disaster, the international community must urgently support bold debt restructuring.

Can preparedness for a health disaster change the game?

Disease outbreaks like Ebola and Covid-19 have strong detrimental effects on mortality rates for mothers, infants and young children in low and middle-income countries, both immediately and in the longer term. As this column explains, strengthening preparedness for such emergencies has become more urgent as health disasters continue to erode recent improvements in maternal and child health.

External debt vulnerability in the time of Covid-19

Covid-19 is threatening emerging markets and developing economies in multiple ways. As this column explains, these countries are even more vulnerable now than they were at the onset of the global financial crisis in 2008, raising fears that the impact of the current crisis might be more devastating and economic recovery more distant.

Financing a comprehensive and equitable Covid-19 response

Some say our hopes for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) may already be a fading dream, especially for the world’s poorest. This Brookings column argues that they have never been more important – and are still the best course to navigate through these perilous waters. The authors explore how we should finance and implement the SDGs during and after the pandemic.

Covid-19: forging a new social contract in the Middle East and North Africa

The dual shock of Covid-19 and falling oil prices has brought to light the underlying flaws of economies in the Middle East and North Africa. This column, originally published at OECD Development Matters, suggests that events that are out of authorities’ control will trigger change in the societies of the region. Governments must decide whether that change will be guided or traumatic.

Solving both the short- and long-term Covid-19 crises

The global health and economic crisis compels us to act in the short term. But as this Brookings column argues, we also need to look at longer-term challenges. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals provide a pathway for us to ‘build back better’ after Covid-19.

Rethinking the role of the state in the Middle East and North Africa

What should be the role of the state in MENA economies? This column argues that countries in the region should try to increase their level of accountability towards their citizenry by inculcating a culture of ‘value for money’, promoting the emergence of independent, yet accountable, regulators and relying less on the state to rejuvenate their economies.

Rethinking the state’s role in Arab economies

The Arab world's state-led development model may be set to reach a breaking point, as hundreds of millions of young people prepare to enter the labour market in the coming decades. This Project Syndicate column argues that with the public sector unlikely to be able to absorb these new workers, there is an urgent need to create a dynamic and competitive private sector.

A sustainable economy for the Arab world

Building a sustainable economy is an urgent imperative for policy-makers, businesses, and citizens throughout the Arab world. This Project Syndicate column says that it won’t be easy, but the region has plenty of experience overcoming even the most difficult challenges.

Most read

Social insurance in Egypt: between costly formality and legal informality

The rates of participation of Egyptian workers in contributory social insurance has continued to decline, even during times when the country has had positive annual growth rates. This column discusses key institutional elements in the design of the current social insurance scheme that have contributed to the growing gap in coverage, particularly the scheme’s cost and eligibility requirements.

Making trade agreements more environmentally friendly in the MENA region

Trade policy can play a significant role in efforts to decarbonise the global economy. But as this column explains, there need to be more environmental provisions in trade agreements in which developing countries participate – and stronger legal enforcement of those provisions at the international level. The MENA region would benefit substantially from such changes.

Jordan: navigating through multiple crises

Jordan’s real GDP per capita is today no higher than it was 40 years ago. While external factors have undoubtedly had an adverse effect on the country’s economic outcomes, weak macroeconomic management and low public spending on investment and the social sectors have also played a substantial role. This column explores what can be done to reduce high public debt, accelerate private sector development and enhance social outcomes.

Iran’s globalisation and Saudi Arabia’s defence budget

How might Saudi Arabia react to Iran's renewed participation in global trade and investment? This column explores whether the expanding economic globalisation of Iran, following the lifting of nuclear sanctions, could yield a peace dividend for Saudi Arabia, consequently dampening the Middle East arms competition. These issues have attracted increased attention in recent times, notably after a pivotal agreement between the two countries in March 2023, marking the resumption of their political ties after a seven-year conflict.

Egypt and Iraq: amenities, environmental quality and taste for revolution

The Middle East and North Africa is a region marked by significant political turbulence. This column explores a novel dimension of these upheavals: the relationship between people’s satisfaction with, on one hand, the amenities to which they have access and the environmental quality they experience, and, on the other hand, their inclination towards revolutionary actions. The data come from the World Value Survey collected in 2018 in Egypt and Iraq.

Global value chains and domestic innovation: evidence from MENA firms

Global interlinkages play a significant role in enhancing innovation by firms in developing countries. In particular, as this column explains, participation in global value chains fosters a variety of innovation activities. Since some countries in the Middle East and North Africa display a downward trend on measures of global innovation, facilitating the GVC participation of firms in the region is a prospective channel for stimulating underperforming innovation.

Labour market effects of robots: evidence from Turkey

Evidence from developed countries on the impact of automation on labour markets suggests that there can be negative effects on manufacturing jobs, but also mechanisms for workers to move into the services sector. But this narrative may not apply in developing economies. This column reports new evidence from Turkey on the effects of robots on labour displacement and job reallocation.

Food insecurity in Tunisia during and after the Covid-19 pandemic

Labour market instability, rising unemployment rates and soaring food prices due to Covid-19 are among the reasons for severe food insecurity across the world. This grim picture is evident in Tunisia, where the government continues to provide financial and food aid to vulnerable households after the pandemic. But as this column explains, the inadequacy of some public policies is another important factors causing food insecurity.

Do capital inflows cause industrialisation or de-industrialisation?

There is a clear appeal for emerging and developing economies, including those in MENA, to finance investment in manufacturing industry at home with capital inflows from overseas. But as the evidence reported in this column indicates, this is a potentially risky strategy: rather than promoting industrialisation, capital flows can actually lead to lower manufacturing value added and/or a reallocation of resources towards industries with lower technology intensity.

Manufacturing firms in Egypt: trade participation and outcomes for workers

International trade can play a large and positive role in boosting economic growth, reducing poverty and making progress towards gender equality. These effects result in part from the extent to which trade is associated with favourable labour market outcomes. This column presents evidence of the effects of Egyptian manufacturing firms’ participation in exporting and importing on their workers’ productivity and average wages, and on women’s employment share.