Today, Algeria’s Parliament will hear Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia’s plan for addressing the country’s ongoing economic crisis.
Since mid-2014, Algeria has grappled with a 50% slump in oil prices, free-falling foreign reserves, and high youth unemployment. Income from oil accounts for 40% of Algeria’s GDP and 60% of government revenues. Such dependence suggests that a diversification of the country’s assets is necessary.
Regardless, the Algerian government has not incentivised investors in the tourism or agricultural sectors, and excessive import restrictions and anti-privatisation efforts deter foreign investment in energy, as has preventing the privitisation of state-owned industries.
With the 1988 popular uprisings– which were the result of government austerity measures– still in the minds of policymakers, the government is hesitant to introduce significant subsidy reforms.
As succession rumours fly, provoked by the 2013 stroke of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, and public dissatisfaction mounts, the pressure is on the new PM to save the day