Algeria

Menas’s consultants and in-country experts have been covering Algeria for the past 18 years, providing high quality analysis and assessment of key trends in a country confronting significant political and economic change.

The Forecast, 20200

Below is a summary of The Forecast: Algeria 2020 – download the pdf version of the document here:

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Politics & Policy

Algeria enters 2020 in a state of extreme political uncertainty with President Abdelmadjid Tebboune — who was illegally elected on 12 December on the orders of an army head who died eleven days later — having little or no legitimacy and a newly appointed prime minister and government who inspire no more confidence than their predecessors. Against them stand the Hirak — the popular movement of peaceful protest — which rejects Tebboune’s election as illegitimate and demands the complete abolition of the system which he and his Presidency represent. After more than ten months of continuous peaceful protest — during which the Hirak has resisted and defied the repression and intimidation of the late General Ahmed Gaïd Salah’s military regime — the Hirak is in no mood to give up now.

    Security

    The security situation is currently the least problematic issue facing Algeria. Domestic terrorism is at a near all-time low with Algeria ranking amongst the world’s less dangerous countries as far as terrorism is concerned. Externally the situation in the Sahel will almost certainly deteriorate during 2020 but is unlikely to cause more than peripheral trouble to Algeria’s southern margins. The situation in Libya is becoming increasingly worrying as evidenced by the fact that it was top of the agenda at a meeting of the State Security Council in late December.

    International Affairs

    The rest of the world is gradually losing interest in Algeria. This is largely because of the political crisis which has engulfed the country for over a year. It has shown Algeria’s friends and partners, especially in the West, that under Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s regime it had descended into little more than a highly corrupt mafia state that was probably best left to its own devices. Consequently, multinational companies outside the oil sector had begun to give the country a wide berth.

    Economy & Energy

    While the political crisis could conceivably be resolved quite quickly the same cannot be said for ether the economy or the energy sector. Oil production and hydrocarbon revenues are both likely to continue to fall unless there is a major and long-lasting upturn in world oil prices. The bind facing the energy sector is that domestic demand is increasing faster than production so Algeria gradually has less oil to export.  This situation has been exacerbated by the government’s many years of ostrich-like navel-gazing in which its extensive renewable energy sources have been virtually ignored.

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