Economic Research Forum (ERF)

Mohammed Elhaj Mustafa Ali


Mohammed Elhaj Mustafa Ali
Assistant Professor, University of Kassala

Mohammed Elhaj Mustafa Ali is a Sudanese national. He is assistant professor at Department of Economics, Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, University of Kassala, Sudan. Currently, he holds the position of head Department of Economics at Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, University of Kassala, Sudan. He received his PhD in Economics from the Faculty of Economics and Rural Development, University of Gezira, Sudan in 2016. In 2009, Mustafa got his M.Sc. in Economics from Faculty of Economics and Administration, University Malaya, Malaysia. In 2001 he was awarded a B.Sc. (honors) in Economics from Faculty of Economic and Social Studies, University of Khartoum. His particular fields of specialization are in the areas of Macroeconomics, Microeconomics, Health Economics, Labor Economics, Development Economics and International Economics. He has published in nationally and internationally refereed journals.

Content by this Author

Digitalisation: what’s needed in business responses to Covid-19 in MENA

The pandemic caused severe disruptions to the global business environment. This column reports evidence on how different sectors in the Middle East and North Africa have been responding. The focus is particularly on firms’ adoption of digital technologies, as well as policies that might encourage greater digitalisation as an essential business strategy to mitigate the consequences of Covid-19 for the economy.

Chronic illness and the labour market in Arab countries

Chronic illnesses are widespread in the Arab countries – and they have damaging consequences for labour market participation and wider economic performance. Drawing on evidence from Egypt and Tunisia, this column proposes a package of practical actions to protect workers from becoming victims of chronic diseases – and to reduce the losses of income, labour supply and labour productivity.

Protecting households from catastrophic health costs: evidence from Sudan

Out-of-pocket’ (OOP) healthcare expenditure is a heavy burden on household resources in developing countries like Sudan where poverty and illness are widespread. This column proposes a package of practical actions to protect households from becoming victims of OOP expenditure – and to reduce the impoverishment when such expenditure becomes catastrophic.

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Sustaining entrepreneurship: lessons from Iran

Does entrepreneurial activity naturally return to long-term average levels after big economic disturbances? This column presents new evidence from Iran on trends in entrepreneurship among various categories of firm size, sector and location – and suggests policies that could be effective in promoting entrepreneurial activities.

Happiness in the Arab world: should we be concerned?

Several Arab countries have low rankings in the latest comparative assessment of average happiness across the world. But as this column explains, the average is not a reliable summary statistic when applied to ordinal data. The evidence from more robust analysis of socio-economic inequality in happiness suggests that policy-makers should be less concerned about happiness indicators than the core development objective of more equitable social conditions for citizens.

Financial constraints on small firms’ growth: pandemic lessons from Iran

How does access to finance affect the growth of small businesses? This column presents new evidence from Iran before and during the Covid-19 pandemic – and lessons learned by micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.

The economics of Israeli war aims and strategies

Israel’s response to last October’s Hamas attack has led to widespread death and destruction. This column outlines the impact thus far, including the effects on food scarcity, migration and the Palestinian economy in both Gaza and the West Bank.

It’s too early to tell what happened to the Arab Spring

Did the Arab Spring fail? This column presents a view the consensus view from ERF’s recent annual conference in Morocco: careful analysis of the fundamental drivers of democratic transitions suggests that it’s too early to tell.

Arab regional cooperation in a fragmenting world

As globalisation stalls, regionalisation has emerged as an alternative. This column argues that Arab countries need to face the new realities and move decisively towards greater mutual cooperation. A regional integration agenda that also supports domestic reforms could be an important source of growth, jobs and stability.

Self-employment in MENA: the role of religiosity and personal values

How important are individual’s values and beliefs in influencing the likelihood that they will embrace the responsibilities, risks and entrepreneurial challenge of self-employment? This column presents evidence from 12 countries in the Middle East and North African region on the roles of people’s religiosity and sense of personal agency in their labour market choices.

Gender differences in business record-keeping and planning in Iraq

Only one in every ten informal businesses in Iraq is led by a woman. Yet as research summarised in this column reveals, those businesses are more likely to set budgets and sales targets, and to keep business records. This may be evidence of the role of social exclusion in motivating greater reliance on the formal bureaucratic system.

Reformed foreign ownership rules in UAE: the impact on business entry

In an effort to stimulate economic growth and diversify the economy, the government of the United Arab Emirates has recently implemented regulatory reform that allows 100% foreign ownership of companies operating in the country. This column examines the implications of the reform for entry of new firms in Dubai, using unique data on new business licences in the emirate.

Conflict and debt in the Middle East and North Africa

With the global economy is in its third year of deceleration amid declining inflation and oil prices, the Middle East and North Africa grew by just 1.9% in 2023, with a forecast for growth in 2024 at 2.7%. In addition to heightened uncertainty brought on by the conflict centred in Gaza, many countries in the region are also grappling with pre-existing vulnerabilities, including rising debt levels. This column summarises a new report that unpacks the nature of debt in MENA – and explains the critical importance of keeping rising debt stocks in check.