Harnessing Knowledge for Sustainable Development: Challenges and Opportunities for Arab Countries

Harnessing Knowledge for Sustainable Development: Challenges and Opportunities for Arab Countries

Abdelkader Djeflat (Université de Lille 1, France)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3817-2.ch012
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Abstract

Arab countries face two major challenges resulting from increasing competition from the rest of the world and persistent reliance on mineral resources for their growth. At the same time, sustainable development is increasingly becoming a major concern for world development. In this respect, and from a sustainability point of view, knowledge economy opens up new and more accessible opportunities through the ‘substitution' of physical resources by immaterial resources. This situation raises two fundamental questions: the first one relates to the opportunity of ensuring sustainable development while the knowledge base remains rather weak and policies often short-sighted. The second one is how an integrated approach based on knowledge can strengthen existing knowledge bases and create new ones to further sustainable development. Looking at a sample of advanced countries and Arab countries, this chapter argues that sustainability of growth rests fundamentally on the capability of properly harnessing knowledge.
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1. Sustainable Knowledge For Sustainable Development: Concepts And Issues

There is an increasing belief that science, technology and knowledge play an important role in sustainable development (Dayan, 2005). Consequently knowledge systems and knowledge economy seem to open up new and varied avenues to be explored in the direction of sustainability. How can knowledge enhance sustainable development? This is the main issue we will address in this section.

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