Four years ago I attended the launch of a Middle East and North Africa fund. Much was made of the long-term potential of the region’s young population, which seemed to compare so favourably with Europe’s – not to mention Russia’s and large parts of Asia’s. I asked about the risks associated with a preponderance of young men in the event of sluggish growth or job-creation and the portfolio manager politely played them down. Nine months later Mohamed Bouazizi set himself alight in Tunisia.
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