Good governance vital to countering extremism and instability, says Kim

9 Feb 16

World Bank president Jim Yong Kim has stressed that more inclusive governance is vital not only to reducing poverty and promoting prosperity, but also tackling problems like violent extremism and instability.


Speaking at the World Government Summit in Dubai yesterday, Kim said “at the core of inclusive governance is a social compact between government officials and their citizens based on three principles” – transparency, investments in the potential of the population, and a prosperous business environment.

“For the Middle East and North Africa, for all regions in the world, the path to stability and prosperity is through inclusive governance – actions that foster individual opportunity through quality public services and an open and competitive business climate,” he said.

He said governments must invest in people’s health and education not only to help them escape poverty, but to “create a powerful counter-narrative to violent extremism” instead of “sowing seeds of discontent”.

Governments that operate in opaque and unaccountable ways are also a source of instability and dissatisfaction, he added.

“When governments don’t allow the public to participate in decisions, they breed suspicion; when governments make decisions based on the basis of favouritism, social or ethnic divisions, discrimination or corruption, citizens become deeply aggravated.”

He added that governments who do not promote a fair and competitive business environment, limiting opportunities by favouring allies and fostering “crony capitalism” also bring “chaos”.

Governments must ensure the business environment sparks entrepreneurship, innovation, competitiveness and fairness and integrity, he said.

“This is the moment for all enlightened leaders around the world to act and build inclusive governance,” he urged, noting the benefits for North Africa and the Middle East especially.

“If leaders invest in young people’s education and health, if they give them opportunities by diversifying their economies and sparking the dynamism of the private sector, the future of this region will become far brighter.

“With good governance, there will be greater opportunity and prosperity for all.” 

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