Welcome to MEKEI

The mission of the MEKEI research institute is to use research and education to help transform the countries of the Middle East and North Africa to advanced, knowledge-based societies led by sustainable innovation and social advance.

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About MEKEI ?

The mission of the MEKEI research institute is to use research and education to help transform the countries of the Middle East and North Africa to advanced, knowledge-based societies led by sustainable innovation and social advance.
Many consider the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region as one of the most important emerging parts of the world economy in the 21st century. MENA is strategically vital as it produces the majority of the world's oil. However, despite the region's oil, most MENA countries score lower on Human Development Index (HDI) world ranking, with GDP, productivity and investment rates well below the global average. It is, therefore, becoming widely accepted that the dominant economic model of the region - based on the public sector, oil incomes and workers' remittances - is not up to the challenges of modern globalisation and the needs of advanced knowledge-based societies. Given the apparently contradictory needs of economic growth and environmental conservation, it comes as no surprise that knowledge management, innovation and sustainable development (SD) have had such a powerful influence in contemporary discussions on the future of the region.

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Photo of Prof. Liisa Laakso

Prof. Liisa Laakso

Dean University of HelsinkiSocial Sciences
Qualifications:

PhD

Location: Helsinki, Finland

Biography

Professor Liisa Laakso is political scientist and the Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Helsinki. Her areas of expertise include conflicts, democratisation, African studies and development cooperation. Previously she held the UNESCO Chair in Development and International Cooperation at the University of Jyväskylä. She has directed the research project DIASPEACE (funded under the 7th EU Framework Programme). Her articles have been published in the Journal of Modern African Studies, Journal of International Development, Journal of Commonwealth & Comparative Politics, the Round Table, International Journal of Development Issues, African Studies Quarterly, Nordic Journal of African Studies and Current Research on Peace and Violence. Her most recent publication is an edited volume ”Diasporas, Conflict and Peace in the Horn of Africa” (Zed books, 2014) with P. Hautaniemi. She is member of Finland’s Economic Policy Council, the Development Policy Committee of the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, member of the Academy of Finland Research Council for Culture and Society and member of the European Commission Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions’ Advisory Group.

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