12 December 2o16, Algiers — When oil prices plunged, the Algerian economy followed piling pressure on policymakers to find a sustainable solution.
The government in response to this opted to diversify. They launched a new economic strategy that looked at developing new ideas to take the country away from oil revenue dependency. The government opted to slow public expenditure by 9 per cent in reaction to low oil prices.
One strategy was the first attempt at hosting the African Business and Investment Forum that attracted business leaders and policymakers from across the world. Hosted earlier in the month, about 3,000 delegates attended the three-day forum at the imposing 6,000 seater Centre for International Conferences in Algiers, the Algerian capital.
Algeria has been transacting business with mostly West African countries but not sub-Saharan Africa. Now the country is looking to tap into the opportunities on the continent by insisting that Africa must trade with itself.
“Our contribution in Africa is not only through export of raw materials. Africa is aspiring for investments in order for it to reach considerable incomes,” Mr Abdelmalik Sellal, the Algerian prime minister told the delegates.
That appears to be the African narrative especially on how to trade with itself. However, for Algeria, the lessons learnt from the plunge in oil prices have now opened up a new strategy.
“Algeria is moving away from an economy based on hydrocarbons by providing an enabling business and regulatory environment for companies to set up here. We also want our companies to export to new markets beyond West Africa,” he added.
- The Monitor