Algeria’s economic crisis: the way in and the way out

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Date: Wednesday 21 September 2016

Time: 08:00 - 10:00

Algeria is facing its greatest political and economic crisis since the 1990s' civil war, and the situation could still get worse.

The regime's failure to diversify the economy is turning reduced oil revenues into a profound economic crisis.

Whilst many commentators believe that it is too late to reform the Algerian economy, this talk considers the ‘positives’ that are beginning to emerge and that suggest the country and its economy still offer opportunities for foreign investors. There is an urgent need for foreign investment in a number of sectors and industries that have been hitherto largely ignored but could offer a 'way out' of the crisis.

This more optimistic scenario requires significant political, economic and cultural change. The shock of collapsing oil prices has yet to galvanise the regime into enacting the necessary reforms. It will need to do so quickly to ensure a more positive future.

This Breakfast Briefing will address:

  • the inter-relation between the economic and political crises in Algeria;
  • the reasons behind and the nature of the regime’s in-fighting, with a particular focus on the following perennial question: Who and what sort of regime will succeed the ailing President Abdelaziz Bouteflika?;
  • the measures that the regime is belatedly implementing to tackle the economic crisis, including structural changes such as diversification, financial reforms, business deregulation and liberalisation;
  • the significant opportunities that exist for the foreign investors who understand the country, make committed partnerships, and are willing to take a risk.


Jeremy Keenan is Visiting Professor in the School of Law, Queen Mary’s University, London (QMUL). He is also Professorial Research fellow at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). A recognised expert on the Sahara-Sahel and Algeria, where he began his studies in 1964, Keenan has around 350 publications to his name, including 7 books on the Sahara and a further three in progress. He is a recognised authority on the region’s political and security situation and briefs the British and US governments, the EU, UN, NATO, several international agencies and numerous media organisations (BBC, RFI, France24, VOA, Reuters, etc.). He is the author of three of Menas’ publications: Algeria Politics & Security, Algeria Focus and Sahara Focus.

Laurence Franc-Menget joined the disputes group in Paris in 2008 after a few years in a French law firm. She has extensive international arbitration experience and has acted in both ad hoc and institutional arbitrations (including ICC, UNCITRAL, ICSID, AFA, and SCC arbitrations). In particular, she has been involved as counsel in disputes on corporate issues, joint ventures, construction and distribution contracts as well as in investment disputes involving sovereign States. Laurence also acts as an arbitrator. She appears before French Courts, in international private law disputes and in cases arising from arbitration (i.e. jurisdiction issues, enforcement and setting aside of arbitral awards).