Author Archives: Yasser Akkaoui

Free minds of Lebanon, unite!

Free minds of Lebanon, unite!

Our economy is in tatters, and we lack uninterrupted basic services like electricity, water and waste management. There is no acceptable explanation for why our country is near ruin. Fixing these problems is simple, and 2017 is our last chance to change course. There are plenty of free minds in this country that understand how

Starting afresh

While 2016 was full of surprises, in our own backyard the year’s developments simply helped reconfirm what we already know and once again exposed the extent of our vulnerability and dependence. Our region’s fate is in the hands of superpowers, influenced by any number of special interests except, of course, the best interest of local

It’s time for some serious changes

After two and a half years, Lebanon has a president. We don’t care. For the thirteenth time in our history, our head of state was imposed from outside. We don’t care. Our lawmakers – serving a second term they illegally gave themselves – are jokers, casting ballots for Myriam Klink and Zorba the Greek. We

Time to fight back

It really bothers me when people say things they don’t actually understand. “The economy is dead.” I’ve heard it over and over the past few years. Growth is low, fine, but it’s not completely absent. Let’s remember Economics 101. If a manaoushe shop sells 1,000 manaeesh in September and then sells 1,020 in October, that’s

Picking a proxy

Lebanon’s economy only grows when the country is given a geopolitical purpose bigger than its size. This country’s first “Golden Era” was arguably ushered in during the presidency of Fouad Chehab. The US loved him and – up until 1967 – viewed Lebanon as a key partner in the fight against Communism in the Middle

A disappointing win

Three years ago, we asked then Minister of Energy Gebran Bassil about how millions of dollars made from the sale of oil and gas data were being managed as part of our coverage of the governance of the nascent industry. He told us it wasn’t important. When we ran an article suggesting such secrecy is

Finding the funding for big tech dreams

Aasim Saied has some unorthodox ideas about how technology entrepreneurs should fundraise and how best to structure a board of directors. Saied founded Akyumen, a self-described “digital products company committed to opening the door to innovation and advancing access to education through state of the art niche products that bring technology directly to your hands.”

Banking on our self-reliance

The first rule of business ethics is: if you’re not proud enough of your work to talk publicly about it, something must be wrong. That the government once again cancelled a waste management contract without even naming the winner proves something dirty is going on. Worse than the implementation, of course, is the actual plan.

In need of a new national economic strategy

Our economy is seriously underperforming. While this isn’t a surprise, it still bothers me every single day. I love our banks, but they are only part of the equation for real economic success. We need functioning capital markets, and we needed them yesterday. I love our central bank, but it simply cannot continue being the

Enough brand confusion

I’m confused. Every time we write about the country’s entrepreneurship ecosystem, our researchers and fact checkers conduct extensive investigations in an attempt to once and for all classify central bank circular 331 in the right policy framework. They always come to the same conclusion: it’s an equity guarantee. The whole purpose of this policy instrument

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