IMAGINING FUTURE(S) FOR THE MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA
Scenarios are imagined futures that can demonstrate how current actions may lead to dramatically different outcomes. As such they are useful tools to help guide strategy and shape the future. This report lays out scenarios for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) with two time horizons: short term (2025) and long term (2050). The former is a kind of business-as-usual scenario that projects current trends in the region and is based on the conclusions drawn from research conducted over three years (April 2016–March 2019). These conclusions point towards greater conflict and contentious state-society dynamics, regional fragmentation and shifting centres of gravity, the region’s embeddedness in global rivalries and disruptive socio-economic and environmental international trends. The report also points at several alternative paths in particular areas or countries where these trends could be reversed, or where specific sectors or countries could take divergent paths and how. Then the report sketches long-term scenarios for 2050 by identifying some megatrends that will inevitably shape the region’s future and the way in which the region will relate to the rest of the world. The report explains why each of the selected issues is particularly relevant and imagines a series of opportunities as well as risks for the region.