The political situation in Algeria and uncertainty over the country's governance should affect private investment, already penalised by a complex business environment, according to global credit insurer Coface.
In its latest update, the Paris-headquartered insurer indicates that after being constrained by the decline in production of hydrocarbons in 2018 (particularly gas), economic growth will remain contained in 2019. Coface forecasts a rate of 1.9% growth.
Political tensions in North Africa
Separately, Mr Ziad Akl, a senior political analyst at Al-Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies, in a commentary published on the news website Ahram Online, says that North Africa has been witnessing a phase of political tension, particularly in Tunisia and Algeria — two of the most significant powers politically in the continent.
However, there are major differences between the tensions in Algeria and Tunisia, specifically on an institutional level.
Algeria is witnessing a power vacuum. Political pressure was put on former president Abdelaziz Bouteflika to leave office and not run for a fifth term. He resigned in April. Algeria is still considering the possibilities of an institutional political process.
The idea of presidential elections held before the end of the year is not very much welcomed by the various political forces in Algeria. The scene at the current moment lacks political cohesion. Hence, it is expected that the state of uncertainty and struggle between Algeria’s political actors will remain for the time being.
Tunisia is a different case as the political tension there is the result of a presidential vacuum after the death in July of president Mohamed Beji Caid Essebsi. 26 candidates stepped forward in the presidential elections in Tunisia. Between independents and representatives of standing political powers, the Tunisian executive election field seems quite competitive.
There is a major difference between Algeria and Tunisia concerning the relationship between civil society and political powers and the state. The Tunisian street or public sphere is much more powerful than that in Algeria, specifically from an institutional perspective. On the other hand, Algeria has proved that its political forces have significant ability to mobilise but are not capable of institutional organisation.