Archive for October, 2012

Egypt to set up industrial zones in Algeria

Egypt plans to establish two industrial zones in Algeria and Ethiopia in an effort to boost economic ties with African countries, Egypt’s State Information Service (SIS) reported last week.

On his recent two-day visit to Algeria, Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Qandil said his government hoped to see increased investment in the North African nation, adding that the planned industrial zone would assist in the production of construction materials.

According to the SIS, Qandil also unveiled plans to build some 2.5 million residential units in Algeria before the end of 2014, stressing that Egyptian construction companies would contribute heavily to the project.

Will Algeria give Egypt 2 bln in loans


Roman Arch, Algeria

This triumphal arch awed visitors to the city of Thamugadi, founded by the emperor Trajan around A.D. 100 as a civilian settlement near the fort of Lambaesis. The grooves left by wagon and chariot wheels can still be seen in the stone road.

Picture of the ruins of a Roman arch in Algeria

Energy: EU incentives needed to switch N. Africa to green

wait I am not done


The lesser the infrastructure and the higher the fossil fuel prices, the more chances that an African country will switch to renewable energy, and that is more the case in sub-Saharan Africa than in the north, according to a report released on Wednesday by the Joint Research Center, the EU’s scientific and technical research lab.

While north African countries such as Algeria, Mauritania and Morocco have wind and solar energy potential, these can’t compete with the particularly low fossil fuel prices there, according to the report, titled ‘Renewable Energies in Africa.’ ”North Africa won’t switch to renewable energies based on free market reliance alone,” said report author Fabio Monforti-Ferrario. ”It’s cheaper for a north African rural community to use a diesel generator than it is for one in sub-Saharan Africam where traditional infrastructure is lacking and fuel prices are higher.”.

EU incentives could induce north African countries to switch to renewable energy, becoming a green energy source for Europe.

”In that case long-distance, large-scale energy transportation becomes an important issue. The key will be to create integrated energy transmission networks between the northern and southern Mediterranean,” Monforti-Ferrario said.

algeria libya the second round complete first and second half


what did you think of the game/match. How would algeria fair in CAN in South Africa

Do you think Vahid is a good coach

I am now a big fan of soudani. he pretty much is our scoring machine. Algeria has finally found someone who can score

Please visit algeria world cup

and please comment or like

Algeria aims to slash deficit

OPEC member Algeria plans to cut spending by 11.2 percent in 2013 to reduce its budget deficit, according to a draft budget, after the government spent extra money this year to soothe public grievances and avoid unrest.

The draft budget, obtained by Reuters, is based on a world oil price of $90 per barrel, and projects next year’s deficit at 18.9 percent of gross domestic product, down from 28 percent of GDP projected for this year. Algeria has financed its deficit with cash from oil and gas sales.

The oil-reliant economy is expected to grow by 5 percent, slightly more than the 4.7 percent forecast for 2012, while the inflation target is unchanged from this year at 4 percent.

The draft budget envisages that the Algerian dinar will fall 2.7 percent against the dollar.

The government had approved a budget of 7.745 billion dinars ($104.6 billion) for 2012, including extra spending on public sector wage rises, infrastructure and housing – a particular problem in the north African nation of 36 million people.

The draft budget set 2013 spending at 6.879 billion dinars, with no new salary increases planned, although the government will maintain subsidies on basic foodstuffs.

Medical Tourism Booming in North Africa

Despite the unrest rocking several Arab countries, many foreign tourists are still heading to North Africa not only for holidays but also for plastic surgery which has become a big business namely in Tunisia, Egypt and Morocco.
The pyramids of ancient Egypt, the antiquities & beaches of Tunisia and the mystical city Marrakesh (Morocco) are no longer the main attractions for international travelers. Tourists are now more and more coming to this region for liposuction, breast augmentations and other cosmetic surgery procedures.
The popular plastic surgery operations include tummy tuck, liposuction, facelift, breast lift or reduction, dental care, buttock augmentation & lift, nose job, ear surgery, eyelid surgery, chin augmentation and hair transplantation.
Its proximity to Europe, proven skill of certified board surgeons and moderate prices that make the three northern African countries attractive alternatives to India, Thailand, Pakistan or Latin America (the current giants in the field of medical tourism). The clinics there offer unbeatable packages which combine a beach vacation, relaxation and scalpel. Instead of a hospital environment, foreign tourists seeking a new look (flawless face or body), can enjoy the luxury and comfort newly built clinics, equipped with the most modern medical and surgical apparatus.
This highly attractive offer appeals to those short on time and who want to save money at a time economic & financial crisis is hitting badly Euro-zone. Thus, Europeans (women and men), who are looking for an affordable makeover and vacation wrapped into one deal, keep coming to North Africa from as far away as Sweden, Russia and the United States.
They keep coming because they’re paying half of the medical costs in their homeland, preferring to stay in a hospital like a 5-star hotel, and getting a safe and quicker treatment.
However, it is perplexing to see that countries that attract most medical tourists are often experiencing difficulties to give the adequate medical care to their own populations. So, it’s worth thinking about and one should start shopping around for a clinic that donates some of its profits to providing medical care for those who can’t afford it at all.

fortress Algeria

from the Huffington post

Algeria is a country that is often overlooked in the U.S., and Algerians like it that way. A popular saying in Algiers, the capital, is la bonne vie est la vie cachée. But Algeria has become an important component of U.S. foreign policy. On the sidelines of the UNGA in New York, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton suggested that the group responsible for the attack on the U.S. consulate mission in Benghazi, Libya may be linked to al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), an al Qaeda affiliate that controls a large part of northern Mali. If true, then there is an al Qaeda haven in northern Mali fueling jihadi terrorism in Libya, and Algeria is squarely in the middle.

The U.S. is well aware of Algeria’s centrality and would like it to play a greater regional role. In fact, General Carter Ham, the head of AFRICOM, was in Algiers on 30 September and the U.S. will launch its U.S.-Algeria strategic dialogue on 19 October, just one week after Secretary Clinton is expected to give a speech about North African stability in Washington.

To understand why the U.S. sees Algeria as such an attractive solution to North African and Saharan instability, and to understand how many Algerians view their own country, it is useful to sketch a rough portrait. To start with geography, it is simply a vast country, about five times the size of France. With the division of Sudan in 2011, Algeria became Africa’s largest country in terms of landmass and the tenth largest country in the world. The distance from Algiers on the Mediterranean coast to Algeria’s southern border is longer than the distance from Algiers to London. Algeria’s border with Mali in the Sahara is 800 miles long — about the distance from New York City to Chicago.

In addition to being big, Algeria is rich. In a 2012 ranking of countries according to their foreign exchange reserves, Algeria ranked twelfth in the world, with $200 billion. This puts it just behind Germany and ahead of France. But unlike France or Germany, Algeria has only $4 billion of external debt, or roughly 3 percent of GDP. France’s external debt is 182 percent of GDP and Germany’s is 142 percent and their GDPs are considerably larger than Algeria’s.

Almost all of Algeria’s wealth is due to hydrocarbons. Algeria’s state-owned oil and gas company is the tenth largest oil company in the world according to proven reserves. It reported 2011 revenues of $72 billion. It exports 1.2 million barrels of crude oil per day and Algerian natural gasaccounts for almost 20 percent of EU gas imports.

For the most part, hydrocarbons revenue supports the economy, but the money also goes to buy weapons. Algeria ranks sixteenth in the world in defense spending as a percentage of its budget and spends more per year in dollar terms on defense spending than Pakistan or Iraq. And while the military was once a prominent political force, especially during the 1990s, Algeria’s current president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, has professionalized the army, moving it out of the halls of the presidential palace and back into the barracks.

Algeria’s military is also battle hardened, having fought a bloody Islamist insurgency throughout the 1990s. Not only did Algeria face conventional guerrilla threats, but it countered terrorism in the form of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and its predecessors. And it did so successfully, reducing AQIM in Algeria to an ineffectual organization.

As if this — a large, wealthy country with a powerful military that has experience combating terrorism — was not enough, Algeria is even more attractive to the U.S. as a potential regional partner because it stably navigated the events of the Arab Spring. There are different theories why Algeria did not have an Arab Spring but whatever the reason, President Bouteflika remained in power and he steered the country through parliamentary elections in May 2012.

But despite — or maybe because of — all these attributes, the U.S. is unlikely to be able to enlist Algeria’s support in eradicating AQIM from northern Mali and in combating jihadi groups in Libya. The reasons for Algeria’s hesitancy range from the ideological to the pragmatic.

First, the principle of non-interference is at the core of Algeria’s foreign policy. Simply put, Algeria does not interfere in the affairs of sovereign states. The policy is a legacy of Algeria’s colonial experience, where after 132 years of French occupation (1830-1962), Algeria saw itself as the standard bearer of the sovereign rights of nations. Algeria most recently invoked the principle during the early stages of the NATO-supported rebellion in Libya. Algeria was no friend of the Gaddafi regime, but non-interference was sacrosanct and Algeria voiced its opposition to foreign intervention.

Algeria also subscribes to the Pottery Barn Rule — you break it, you own it. Even though it opposed foreign intervention, it hoped that Libya would quickly transition to stable democratic polity, all the while knowing that Libya would likely succumb to volatility and that weapons flowing out of Libya would end up in AQIM’s hands. In short, Algeria holds NATO responsible for the instability that now surrounds it and it does not see it as its responsibility to clean up a mess that was not its making.

Algeria’s unwillingness to directly confront the situations in Mali and Libya is also in part driven by its experience during the 1990s when it was fighting its own violent Islamist insurgency. Over the next decade, the insurgency resulted in approximately 150,000 deaths. Algeria felt that it was only after the attacks of September 11, 2001 that the U.S. acknowledged the steep challenges it had faced combating terrorism. The U.S. was ten years too late in 2001 and it is twenty years too late to come asking for Algiers’ help in Libya and Mali now.

Lastly, Algeria has immediate life-and-death concerns. In April 2012, an offshoot of AQIMkidnapped seven Algerian diplomats in northern Mali. On 2 September 2012, the group claimed to have executed one of the diplomats. The three others are allegedly still being held hostage (three had been released in the summer). Algeria is no stranger to the loss of life among its diplomatic corps. In 2005, al Qaeda in the Lands of Mesopotamia murdered two Algerian diplomats in Iraq. Algeria is sympathetic to the need to capture those responsible for the Benghazi attacks, but it is also mindful that its own diplomats are still in harm’s way.

One of the consequences of French colonization and the 1990s insurgency was that Algeria learned to be truly independent and it has adopted a “fortress” attitude ever since. Bad things may happen on the other side of the border, but Algeria’s priority is to keep them out. And the U.S. has little leverage to lure Algeria over its borders. The sooner the U.S. recognizes this, the sooner it can concentrate on more viable solutions to the challenges in Libya and the Sahara-Sahel that rely on the governments in Bamako, Niamey, Nouakchott and Tripoli, rather than Algiers.

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