The Industry of the Future & the Future of the Industry

Believe in the industry of the Future and the Future of the Industry was a Report to the French Government on the impact of the Fourth World Economic Revolution is believed to be as relevant to the new Algerian growth model global geostrategic challenges of 2030 as it is to that of France itself. 

Hoping for a concrete application and meaning for the well-being of Algeria, I have with few experts worked free of charge, on what I was and still am advocating the reasonable solution of deep reforms, as always taking into account the social reality.

Several international media have recently asked me about Algeria and its economic choices that affect its future sustainable growth, taking account all of the geostrategic changes that lie ahead between 2020 and 2030. My reply was that I have discussed the very topic between 2010 and 2016.  Would these be applied by the new Government, I wondered ?

Believe in the industry of the Future and the Future of the Industry Is a Report to the French Government on the impact of the Fourth World Economic Revolution and is believed to be as relevant to the new Algerian growth model as global geostrategic challenges of 2030 as it is to that of France itself. 
Hoping for a concrete application and meaning for the well-being of Algeria, I have with few experts worked free of charge, on what I was and still am advocating the reasonable solution of deep reforms, as always taking into account the social reality.

Several international media have recently asked me about Algeria and its economic choices that affect its future sustainable growth, taking account all of the geostrategic changes that lie ahead between 2020 and 2030. My reply was that I have discussed the very topic between 2010 and 2016.  Would these be applied by the new Government, I wondered ?

So, instead of indulging in the installation of yet again other commissions or to rush to other expensive consultancies, I would with all due respect recommend to the Government to study so as avoid the mistakes of the past and in order to adapt it to the country’s reality the important and useful white paper titled “Believe in the industry of the future and the future of the industry”; a report addressed to the French Government (2017) in 84 pages based on a survey of French industry leaders.  It is as a matter of fact, the backbone of the economic program of the French president Emmanuel Macron (1).

This report first recalls that industrial history would without doubt that the formalization of the concept of industry of the future was born in Germany under the heading “industry 4.0”as of a will to drive upmarket the German machine tool industry in the face of competition from Asia. But with the gradual rise in power of the processing of industrial data and acceleration of innovations, the concept took a whole other dimension.

Meanwhile, the avalanche of new technologies that occurred in recent years has indeed an important potential for transformation and improvement of the performance of the industry which could make the assumption of re-industrialization of our country credible again.

The goal is to customize mass production that has not yet been reached, the ecosystems that will be the first to provide a “digital continuity” will also be those that help get production that much closer to the final customer.

The report is structured as follows:

Part I – Industry of the future: framing, context and issues

  1. Framing and context
  2. What economic issues?

Part II – The five challenges of the industry of the future:

  1. How to think the transition?
  2. L’ industry of the future must be thought of in terms of performance, not technology.
  3. Do not underestimate the emergency, nor the competitive pressure
  4. Make transformation a matter of skills and organization
  5. Adopt a broader vision of the value chain
  6. Place the internal operational model and the ecosystem management at the heart of transformation plans.

Part III – different degrees of mature businesses: an industry of the future with variable geometry

  1. Introduction and definition of the criteria taken into account
  2. Variable maturities
  3. Putting into perspective of the model

Part IV – threat or opportunity of an industry of the future

  1. What are the prospects for French industry?
  2. The French specificities
  3. What decisions are at stake? –

Conclusion

  1. Business leaders
  2. Public leaders
  3. A shared vision?
  4. Survey methodology and assumptions of the model.

It must be said that the majority of the experts including those of the Economic and Social Council of Algeria use to always say the opposite of what is proposed today by the Government. How then can they be now that credible?

In several of my contributions from several years ago, I drew the attention of the Government that hydrocarbons price will be low and for a long-time; refer my conference before the Prime Minister and the members of the Club of the Pines of Algiers on November 4, 2014 and before the senior executives of the National Security Department on May 15, 2015

I elaborated on the policy of widespread subsidies that together with current industrial policy could lead Algeria right against a brick wall.  Short of ideas, the country must avoid living on the illusion and outdated patterns of development, such as conventional mechanical industries of which car assembly of very low capacity, highly capital-intensive with Algeria taking on all costs with the rule of 49 / 51% is at the forefront.

Without a serious shift in economic policy, based on good governance and the development of knowledge, Algeria may end up deadlocked by 2018/2020 with the risk of depletion of its foreign exchange reserves when foreign operators, not getting remunerated, may decide to leave it altogether.

As far as the “emergence of an economy” and a globalized product of development of today’s capitalism is concerned, the process is not yet complete, and since the end of the Cold War and the disintegration of the Soviet Union, questioning on the one hand of the ability of nation States to do in the face of these changes.

This is no longer the time where the wealth of a Nation identified with its major firms, large firms having been modelled on military organization and have been described with the same terms: chain of command, job classification, scope of control with their leaders, operating procedures and standard guidelines.

All jobs were defined in advance by rules and pre-established responsibilities. As in the military hierarchy charts determined internal hierarchies and great importance was attached to the permanence of control, discipline and obedience. This rigour was necessary in order to implement plans with accuracy to benefit from economies of scale in mass production and to ensure a strict control of prices in the market.

As in the operation of the army, strategic planning required a decision on where you want to go, followed up by a plan to mobilize the resources and troops to get there. In the totally outdated mechanical era, the production was guided by predetermined objectives and sales by pre-determined quotas. The innovations were not introduced by small progress, but by technological leaps due to the rigidity of the organization.

At the top, large bureaucracies occupied the rectangle of the chart, halfway up middle managers and right at the bottom the workers. Education, from elementary to upper education through high school, was only a reflection of this process, orders being transmitted by the hierarchy, the schools and universities in large sizes to ensure economies of scale as well.

These analyses have also been widely developed between 2012 and 2017 in the Algerian press and internationally under the titles as shown below.

A new organization is currently taking place showing the limits of the old organization with the emergence of new dynamic sectors in order to adapt to the new global configuration. We are seeing the successive passage of the so-called Taylorism organization marked by integration, the Divisional, matrix organization that are intermediary organizations and finally to the recent organization in networks where the firm focuses its strategic management on three segments: research and development (heart of value added), marketing and communication and under the Treaty all the other components.

And with more and more oligopolistic organizations of a few companies controlling the production, finance and marketing networks are no more national. Even those said small and medium-sized enterprises connected as networks of subcontractors to large ones could be among these.

Jobs in current production tend to disappear involving mobility of workers, the widespread use of temporary employment, and therefore a permanent flexibility of the labour market with the permanent recycling training called upon in the future.

Thus, other types of jobs appear including the breakthrough of producers of symbols whose conceptual value is higher than the added value from the classic economies of scale, questioning the ancient theories and economic policies inherited from the mechanical age era like the old political “industrialising industries” based on the model of the old Soviet Union while the 21st century is characterized by the dynamism of large firms but especially those linked in networks to them SMIs/SMEs all devoting a good portion of their budget to research and development.

With the predominance of services that have a more and more merchant character contributing to the increase in the added value, the firm turns into a global network, and it is impossible to distinguish between individuals affected by their activities that as a consequence would be a large, diffuse group, around the world. In this global village, there exist only consumers/producers cross networks.

This will have implications for the future organization at all political, economic and social systems levels.

Finally, this analysis raises the issue of national security. Since 2012, I did not do enough warning the Government on the inconsistency of its policy of subsidies, the inconsistency of its industrial policy and against a policy of hidden import of car assembly plants as well as other industrial segments living off a certain rentier situation.

Two lessons are to be learned.

  • First, the money capital does not create wealth; it is only a means to an end. In fact it’s the work and intelligence that are the source of permanent and sustainable wealth of a Nation.
  • Second, globalization is a reality and time is never caught back in economics. There is urgent need for a strategic vision as an adaptation to this unstable and turbulent world, a Nation that does not move forward, would necessarily step back.

I would not remind enough that the engine of any development process lies also in research and development, and that without the integration of the knowledge economy, no industrial and economic policy would have a future in the 21st century, where technological innovations would be inevitably have a constant changing feature.

Algeria would be best in investing in democratic institutions than in segments where it can temporarily have some comparative advantages: agriculture, tourism major deposit, new technologies and in sub segments of industrial sectors taking into account the profound technological changes. I would suggest a Monitoring Committee to coordinate the investment policy which must synchronize with the dialectical relationship between the complementary roles of the State and the market, put an end to the present distortions which may cause losses, due to lack of visibility and strategic coherence. ademmebtoul@gmail.com

(1) « Croire en l’Industrie du futur et au futur de l’industrie » as translated by “Believe in the industry of the future and the future of the industry” – white paper – report to the French Government – (2017) in 84 pages – A survey of french industry leaders with (1) to Ernst Young by Opinion Way between September and October 2016 directed by Alain Galloni and Olivier Lluansi associate, Ernst & Young Advisor (Paris 2017) . The same report in PDF format is at

http://www.ey.com/Publication/vwLUAssets/ey-resultats-enquete-industrie-du-futur/$FILE/ey-resultats-enquete-industrie-du-futur.pdf

The Council of Ministers, met on Wednesday in Algiers

The Council of Ministers, met on Wednesday in Algiers under the chairmanship of the President of the Republic, Abdelaziz Bouteflika. It adopted an Action Plan for the newly appointed Government of Mr. Abdelmadjid Tebounne.
This Action Plan which will be submitted shortly before the National Assembly, is part of the continuation of the implementation of the programme of the President of the Republic, according to a statement of the Presidency of the Republic.

The Council of Ministers, met on Wednesday in Algiers under the chairmanship of the President of the Republic, Abdelaziz Bouteflika.  It adopted an Action Plan for the newly appointed Government of Mr. Abdelmadjid Tebounne.
This Action Plan which will be submitted shortly before the National Assembly, is part of the continuation of the implementation of the programme of the President of the Republic, according to a statement of the Presidency of the Republic.
Image APS

Tebboune Government’s Guidelines from the President

The Government Action Plan as adopted by the Council of Ministers meeting on June 14, 2017, noting first that the oil price crisis has presumably settled in a long term, would require Algeria to face up to major demanding challenges that would include dynamization of reforms for implementing all socio-economic actions, along the lines that I summarise in seven key areas as follows.

  1. The need to continue the implementation of the budgetary policy of the adopted last year’s rationalisation to redress public finances by 2019. 
  2. So as to not impact public investment programs, promote non-conventional internal financing that could be mobilized for a financial transition of a few years. 
  3. Avoid for as much as possible the recourse to external debt and contain further all imports volumes of goods and services for the purpose of preserving the reserves of foreign exchange. 
  4. Continue the implementation of the new model of growth adopted in 2016 by the Council of Ministers, including its component of reforms so as to improve the investment environment, and the modernization of the tax system, public banks and financial market.
  5. Enhance all the country’s riches and resources available, including conventional and non-conventional fossil and renewable energy. 
  6. Work on social justice and national solidarity for a greater rationalization of a just social policy, including better targeting of subsidies. 
  7. Adopt an effective communication policy towards public opinion, and carry on a continuous dialogue with all economic and social partners. 

In short, it will be for the Government to produce at a dated deadline, all reforms and necessary synchronization with all sectoral actions taking into account the unavoidable budget external and internal constraints as highlighted with force during this Council. ademmebtoul@gmail.com

 

Status-Quo or Reform from June 2017 to April 2019 in Algeria

What are the prospects for the newly appointed Government of Abdelmadjid TEBBOUNE?  Will we see the status-quo or reform from June 2017 to April 2019 in Algeria?  Or the latter being the country’s next presidential election, will we as stated in some international media, be focusing on the distribution of rent to temporarily appease the social front without strategic visions, Ministers confined in the management of the day-to-day business. 
Or, per the great wish of the majority of Algerians, the country whilst confronted to real issues, the resolution of which will involve profound political, economic and social adjustments. 
The new Government’s 12 Number challenges could perhaps be as follows.
  1. The strategic objective whilst reflecting on the high rate (70%) of abstention and blank votes of the elections of May 04, 2017, is to put into place some political, social and economic intermediation in order to hopefully avoid direct confrontation of State citizens to allow mechanisms of dialogue between all political, economic and social of society without any exclusiveness, avoiding any form of the authoritarian past. With the world being more and more of a House of glass with the Internet revolution that actually opens up to all facets of society through more space and freedom.  All segments of society want their share of the hydrocarbon rent and immediately, not believing anymore in demagogic speeches and empty promises, the goal is to restore confidence in the future, and avoid this growing citizen-state divorce by a deep moralization of the political and economic life of society.
  2. Globalization, a reality that whilst avoiding chimeras will have to be taken into account when considering the impacts of all recent global changes, the geostrategic stakes for the region including the Sahel, the integration of the Maghreb and more generally of North Africa, bridge between Europe and Africa so as to better face up the multiple challenges with the comparative advantage of this country and inscribe it into the Euro-Mediterranean and African space. One must realistically analyze the strategic implications of the Association Agreement that binds Algeria to Europe since September 1st, 2005, after having had a break of three years. How then to arrange for a set-up of competitive enterprises in terms of cost and quality to this horizon?  It is similarly of the same with the future agreement which will be even more binding of Algeria’s accession to the Organization World Trade (WTO).  In this context, it is urgent to fix all those inconsistent and 1970’s modelled socio-economics and industrial development policies, whilst notably taking into account the fourth world economic revolution.
  3. School reform has not only economic but cultural and political implications in the shaping of tomorrow’s Algerian citizen. It is in this context about how to also integrate the country’s educated youth including that of the emigration with its important potential that is the mother of all reforms. The socio-educational system got itself bureaucratised over the years, from the primary to the higher levels through also the vocational training and continuing education, posing the problem of the mastery of new technologies, having preferred the dominance of quantity over quality with up to 2 million students by 2020. Without however the primacy of the Knowledge Economy, any reform would be doomed to failure and everything else is a merely empty speech (1).
  4. Away from administrative measures, it will be a matter of fighting off the bureaucratic system that discourages any creative initiative and that produced all that informal business sphere of more than 50% of the total country’s economic base where everything is treated in cash, thus promoting tax evasion, referring to the complete overhaul of the State. Basically this involves a debate on the future role of the State, far from the centralized model, so as to achieve a transition to a market economy with social purpose and reconcile efficiency and deep social justice.
  5. Productive private sector characterised specific market does not exist and the State sector would have to evolve towards a competitive framework, frankly address a never too late program of de-monopolization (new local and international private investment sector) and privatization (transfer all or part of existing assets) as a complementary process to allow the transition of economic growth , posing the problem of the role of the State in the transition to a mastered competitive market economy.
  6. Economic regionalization problem not to be confused with the increase in the number of governorates and regionalism, will strengthen the symbiosis Citizen-State through the involvement of local communities that need to optimise public expenditure, streamline its expenses, in order to achieve a grouping around large economic space whose core areas should be vocational training centers, public banks, private companies and regional universities within regional eco-poles so as to develop centers of excellence.
  7. It would be a mistake to focus only on new organizations and legislation to fill the void; Algeria having experienced dozens of new organizations notably in the public without any conclusive economic impact and on the best laws in the world that are rarely applied. It is rather the implementation of good governance, involving the reorganization of the State, based not on custom relationships but on the rule of law and an independent justice.  It is also about promoting the plurality of the media with a code of ethics, a fight against corruption that destroyed the cohesion of the social fabric and scared away potential investors. It is thereby about establishing institutions, adapted to both the global and local changes taking into account our cultural anthropology.
  8. Address, without taboo nor pouring into attacks and pernicious analyses, like in all democratic countries, the role in a State of Law of the armed forces and security services within a three to five years program, as well as the functioning of the Department of Foreign Affairs so as to adapt all diplomacy and representations to the new world.
  9. The strict management of the revenues of SONATRACH, the state oil company that is the main pillar of the national economy, must be a priority through transparency of the costs of production, to empower and extend the hydrocarbons ownership to the whole national community. A productive discussion on the future of Shale Oil & Gas and its effects on the environment, the level of the conventional fossils reserves, and their exhaustion timeline taking account of the increasingly strong domestic consumption, the evolution of international prices and the new global energy changes, posing the problem of the generalised  subsidies without targeting.  Reducing costs by combining Solar and the unnecessarily wasted flared gas, and reviewing with promotion of energy efficiency especially of the conventional methodologies as currently applied in the construction industry.
  10. With a non-existing real wage policy, corresponding to the level of production and productivity, it will be to peacefully address the balancing of the labour market with fairness and flexibility not forgetting the dangers of overstaffing in the public service of more than 2.1 million staff, where one does not solve the problems of employment through administrative or fictitious rentier jobs.
  11. Related to the improvement of the health system with mismanaged hospitals, despite skills, and a reasonably decent sanitation of pension funds must be managed transparently. For that combine the systems of distribution and capitalization otherwise.
  1. To energize the lethargic stock exchange, through a reform of the financial system and the State-owned banks. In this context, after pondering on why non-oil foreign direct investment is not appealing and the binding rule of 49 / 51% that is generalized to strategic and non-strategic sectors resolve, the thorny problem of both agricultural and industrial land allocation and deeds.
In short, meditate the negative experience of the war economy of previous governments in similar conjecture.  For this a change of course is needed. Subsidized interest rates, the purchasing power of the Algerian people as much as the value of the Dinar correlated to foreign exchange reserves, depends up to 70% on the hydrocarbons revenues.  Grants, direct and indirect social transfers having represented 27 to 30% of GDP in 2015/2016; would we see the State carry on in this way if the price of oil were persistently low with Algeria of 2010/2014 running on the basis of a price of a barrel higher at $100/110 and $88 in 2016?
As I demonstrated on numerous occasions to several international and national agencies, Algeria is at the crossroads with all possible scenarios, in order to achieve or not its transition from a rentier economy to a diversified economy and in the context of international values based on the enterprise with in its bedrock Knowledge but taking into account protection of the environment.
As per the founders’ teachings of economics, any existing technical determinism of a dialectical link between the political, economic, social and cultural would largely be influenced by globalization.  It is therefore necessary to distinguish between the dynamic stability and the involvement of citizens through democracy source of social stability and economic progress. Without democracy, the rule of law and the return to confidence, there may not be any development.

 

Note (1) :

  • see algerie.com 26/05/2017 “New economic challenges of the Government of Abdelmadjid Tebboune”
  • Interview with Prof. Abderrahmane Mebtoul on Ennahar TV “on the challenges of the Government Tebboune’ on 26/05/2017
  • “the impact of the agreements of Vienna” on daily governmental Horizon and
  • Chorouk Arabic daily of Sunday 29/05/2017
  • Professor Mebtoul will debate on 29/05/2017 at 2300 – TV Dzaiar News on these topics .

The challenges of the new Algerian Government

Wishing every success to  the new Prime Minister Mr Abdelmadjid Tebboune (as reported by abcNews) and all members of his new Government in their missions, I would like to add that the challenges of the new Algerian Government lay before them and are a host of challenges that face any government in the 21st century anywhere in the world.  
These are delivering services, engaging citizens and, rapidly commit to socio-economic demographics all unfortunately in the general lack of finance.  The language of truth will prevail in the end because Algeria despite knowing that budgetary tensions of between 2017 and 2020 will be our daily lot and that we would no more live off eternal hydrocarbons based revenues based rentier economy.

What is the economic situation in this month of May 2017?

Realistically, 97% of foreign exchange resources come directly and indirectly from hydrocarbons exports; whilst the main economic fabric is made of up to 83% of small services/trade activities. The industrial sector represents only 5% of the gross domestic product with more than 97% being small units with no initiation in strategic management, and with about 70% of households and businesses needs sourced from overseas.   The existing limits on restriction of imports, could lead to social unrest and double-digit inflation.

The document allowing an objective assessment is not the trade balance, but the balance of payments in addition to the value of imports of goods, taking into account services and legal transfers of capital. According to the documents of the IMF (provided by the Bank of Algeria), currency services outputs were $10.7 billion in 2013, $11.7 in 2014, $11.0 in 2015, $9.9 in 2016 with a forecast of $10.6 billion in 2017. The legal export of profits according to sources of the IMF was $8 billion in 2013, $8 in 2014, $6.5 in 2015, $3.1 in 2016 and a forecast of $3.7 billion in 2017, with an average between $4.5 and $5 billion between 2018/2020.

In this case at the pace of financial indicators of the first four months of 2017, in any event, the outputs of currencies besides the legal capital transfers, by end of 2017 $46,26 billion (goods) and more than $10.6 billion (services) or a total of $56,86 billion and tending towards $60 billion or more with the legal capital transfers.  This amount of currencies going outside would be balanced by a barrel priced between $85 and $88.  However, according to the IMF, the price of a barrel would vary between 50-55 dollars at constant prices 2017-2020, subject to respect to the OPEC/non-OPEC agreements .

Deep structural reforms

In order to avoid a gradual depletion of foreign exchange reserves in 2018/2019, it will be a matter to go for deep structural reforms such as fighting off the stifling bureaucracy by reforming all institutions, reforming the financial system, as well as reforming the educational system, pillar of the knowledge economy development, and finally solving the thorny problem of land ownership and reviewing the subsidies.

Indeed, subsidies are regressive showing their lack of fairness and the need to reform them: the wealthier, the more you benefit and keeping this policy would be more and more onerous. In a report the World Bank notes that on average worldwide, 20% of the richest have six times more than 20% of the poorest grants and recommends that social assistance programs must be targeted to help the poor and vulnerable households to cope.

Investments in industry, renewable energy, agriculture, tourism and new technologies

The world is at the dawn of the Fourth economic revolution with geo-strategic upheaval in political, economic, social and cultural spheres all in need of necessary strategies.  Algeria should invest in segments where it has comparative advantages in terms of cost/quality in internationalized sectors avoiding unnecessary prestige but opting for those in the industry, renewable energy, agriculture, tourism and new technologies and define its strategic sectors accordingly if it is to ever attract potential investors.

For the building and public works sector that employ nearly two million people, it will be in the future to review the mode of construction, new materials to save more than 30% of energy as well as material.  As just noted by the new Prime Minister, it will be about avoiding the stifling of entrepreneurs operating in this sector whilst encouraging them into training: so, pay contractors who have completed their works on time, as well as follow up all initiated projects while ensuring strict respect of the planned costing and specifications.

But beware, that with budgetary restrictions, the current mode of social housing where a housing unit is granted almost free is only source of social injustice notably for the middle classes. Furthermore, as per the slogan like ‘when the building goes, all goes’ prevailing during the period of the 1970s and 1980s, this is no longer relevant in the 21st century.  Solving the housing crisis without a strategic vision of global development may lead to social tensions.

In summary, Algeria has full potential for emerging out of this situation: first the situation is different to that of the crisis of 1986 with foreign reserves totaling $106 billion and external debt of no more than about $4 billion in February 2017.  It should quickly go to deep structural reforms and above all to have a strategic vision.  Here, I would reiterate my wish of success to the new Government (1). It will have to avoid taking at all costs the temptation of the easy administrative management of the 1970s.  Being in the era of globalization, economic laws being impervious to political slogans, the market economy does not mean anarchy but a State as a regulator, strong in the moral standing that would release all the creative energies. In order to mobilize the Algerian population aware of the issues, a discourse of truth is required: neither gloom nor source of collective neurosis but complacency to avoid the against e truths… ademmebtoul@gmail.com

 

Note :  (1) interview of  Professor Abderrahmane Mebtoul on Ennahar TV on 26/05/2017: the challenges of the Government Tebboune.

AFRIPOL meeting in Algiers to face the continent’s issues

Algerian police has become some sort of an international benchmark, following the December 12, 2016 consultative meeting in Algiers of many African Police officials.  It is also hosting today May 14, 15 and 16, 2017, the first General Assembly of AFRIPOL with the participation of 48 African countries. AFRIPOL meeting in Algiers to face the continent’s issues will be a long awaited opportunity for the African police forces representatives to define the general frameworks of cooperation at all national, continental and international levels institutions.

This article is as a matter of fact a summary of my contributions and international interventions between 2010 and 2016 (1).

The Mediterranean and African regions should know between 2017, 2020 and 2025, deep socio-economic, technological, but also security reconfigurations.  Algerian police as an international reference, decided to strengthen the areas of cooperation with its African counterparts by putting its knowledge and experience at the disposal of all peers.

For this purpose and following the signing in 2001 of a memorandum between the African Union and Interpol to define channels appropriate for communication, exchange of information and views between the different parties, establishing an African police (AFRIPOL) mechanism whose headquarters is in Algiers since end of 2015 under the auspices of the African Union, aimed to work towards the coordination of efforts and to support the action of the missions of peace and security keeping within the African Union countries.

AFRIPOL is a communication, consultation, cooperation and coordination in all affairs of the African police. Indeed, focusing first on its own strategic interests, part of the Mediterranean dialogue (MD), Algeria is based on a number of principles and from a proven willingness to contribute to the promotion of security and stability of the continent.

It is the end of the cold war, marked by the collapse of the Soviet bloc and the attacks in the United States on September 11, 2001 that represent a crucial turning point in contemporary history. The first event marks the end of a world born half a century earlier and dislocation of international architecture which resulted many decades later on by divisions, heartbreak, and wars that we know.

Today, the threats to security are called terrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, regional crises and disintegration of some States.

However, the new collective challenges are another source of threat; such as concerns about water resources, poverty, epidemics and the environment and these are of course local, regional and global.  Between the distant and very present America and the nearby and distant Europe, between a hegemonic and comprehensive strategy that owns all the means of its implementation and projection, and a strategy to global vocation that is laboriously built and that struggles to become self-reliant and to project into its immediate geopolitical environment, how to behave and what choices are there for Algeria to make?

Called upon and solicited, Algeria questions legitimately itself on the role, the place or the interest of such option or this frame holds or offers, whether it is the Mediterranean dialogue of NATO or of the Euro-Mediterranean partnership, in its economic or security dimension.  Adaptation being the key to survival and pragmatism one eminently modern tool in the management of inter-nations relationships, that Algeria together with all in its segment of North Africa as a bridge between Europe and Africa must do with.

Because the current security issues in the Sahel-Saharan area not forgetting that the relationships between the two outer edges of the Sahara do challenge Algeria which must be attentive to the future geo-strategic issues that are emerging in the region.   We have seen, profound changes in geo-politics in the Sahara after the collapse of the Libyan regime and the French intervention following the secession of northern Mali.

The relationship between the Sahel and the Gaddafi Libya having been complex, these are even more complicated with many sub-Saharan migrants settling in the countries of the Maghreb.  In fact, well before and especially since the fall of the regime of Kadhafi, the Sahel region has become a space outside any central authority where armed groups and smugglers settled.

Hence, security of Algeria’s borders is and will be under question with notably that of the 1376 km long with Mali, the 982 km with Libya and the 956 km with Niger and the 965 km with Tunisia to watch; the Moroccan one being closed for some time.

In the short term, tensions in the region especially for the protection of its borders, the situation in Libya, in Mali and incidentally the terrorist actions at its border with Tunisia imposed on Algeria additional expenses. It is understood that included in these would be replacement of most of the obsolete military hardware and acquisition of new equipment for the Armed Forces, not counting all those adaptations of its intelligence.

The cybercrime issue of the 21st century should also be on the agenda for it is required by the economy as cyberattacks tend to increase in volume as electronic services (e-commerce, e-health and e-Government, etc.) are called to develop.

 

Algeria has deployed a task-force to secure its borders and deal with their chronic instability that recent events confirm the continuous worsening.  And this in close cooperation with all neighbouring Maghreb and African countries, assisted by information from Europe including France and the United States of America, as the terrorist threat is a global threat.

For both the U.S. and European governments and because of its strategic location in the Maghreb and its long history of fighting terrorism and violent extremism in its territory, Algeria has become a pillar in the fight against terrorism but also a partner for bringing stability to the region.

Thus, Algeria considered being a key player for the stability of the region has nevertheless to solve its problems of development and at the same time intensify international cooperation against this global scourge.

Now, most of the leaders from North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, Europe and the United States including Russia and China now all agree on the need to cooperate to confront the threat of insecurity and organized crime. It has to focus on the obligation to implement a regional strategy involving all the surrounding countries of the area in addition to the European and international partners, as of the fact that the region has become an open space for various terrorist and  other groups movements that thrive through traffic of weapons or drugs, threatening all regional security, and by extension Europe and the USA.

And as this has been highlighted at different African whether regional or international Interpol conferences, including the one held in Oran, Algeria in September 2013, where resolutions stipulating the urgency of both African that global cooperation against transnational crime with the involvement of each of the NCBs of Interpol member countries, requiring improved data bases in order to effectively combat cross-border crime and terrorism.

So it is to have all constraints removed simply because of the fact that the general corruptibility of institutions weighs heavily on all systems of law enforcement and criminal justice which in general have difficulties adapting to the new challenges posed by the sophistication of organized crime networks. Inter-jurisdictional collaboration is slowed by the heterogeneity of the legal systems notably in North Africa and black Africa.

The porosity of borders as well as coordination between large numbers of agencies responsible for security at the countries’ borders poses major problems.  At the end of the day, it is the strategy aimed to gradually attract users off the informal system onto the formal one and thus isolate the remaining criminal elements whilst decreasing collateral damage for legitimate users.

It is in this context that comes in all those attempts to reinvigorate the Euro-Mediterranean dialogue with two initiatives.  On one hand, the European neighbourhood policy and on the other hand, the strategic partnership between the EU on one side and the Mediterranean and the Middle East on the other in order to somehow stem the emigration including sub-Saharan Africa with as buffer pillar the Maghreb.

In General, on military and geo-strategic grounds it is through the activities of the group of the so-called “5 + 5” that today the reality of such a development can be appreciated.  It is that reading that the Europeans make of the threats and challenges facing the world and our region are primarily based on the need to develop a common strategy for collective and effective response, including international terrorism, human trafficking, organised crime and money laundering.

However for real efficiency and because no country would be able to alone bear the financial costs, without impacting its own development expenditure, pooling becomes strategic imperative to minimize or reduce costs.

 

In short, there is some kind of dialectic link between security and development as without security there would not be any development and vice versa.  The fight against terrorism means or would require putting an end to inequality in both global and / or within any country for if unattended, it would only increase whilst imbuing more misery therefore generating more terrorism.

Because, an all security for security’s sake has limitations as Algerian security officials know very well and that there is an existing dialectical relationship between development and security. It implies tackling the essence (co-development) and not appearances as shown in a study by the World Economic Forum  titled Global Risks 2016 – Reports -.   Security efficiency will also have to fit within a strategic vision that in the face of a world in perpetual motion, both in terms of foreign policy, economics of defense, related actions, with the latest happenings in the Sahel, on the borders of Algeria, arise the urgency of the strategies of adaptation and international and regional coordination, in order to effectively act on major events. These new challenges for both Algeria and Africa would exceed in importance and magnitude those challenges Algeria and Africa have faced so far.

 

Please address any comments to Dr A. Mebtoul  ademmebtoul@gmail.com

 

Notes :

(1) – A study by Professor Abderrahmane MEBTOUL was published by the – Institut français des relations internationales   (IFRI – Paris, France) in French “Maghreb-Europe cooperation in the face of the geostrategic stakes” (November 2011) – chapter III – “The strategy of NATO the geostrategic challenges in the Mediterranean.  Conference of the Pr Abderrahmane Mebtoul ‘development and geostrategic in the Mediterranean and Africa issues’ in Malta, 2012 at the invitation of the European Commission and on the same theme in front of the European Parliament in Brussels-2013 – see “the Maghreb the geostrategic challenges” two works (1050 pages) under the direction of Professor Mebtoul Abderrahmane and Dr. Camille Sari (36 experts Europeans and North Africans)-Edition L’Harmattan Paris 2015-

 

France’s presidential elections impacting Algeria

by | May 9, 2017

And the prospects of mutual cooperation . . .

The two countries  confronted to their specific challenges ought to have a common vision in order to contribute to a prosperous future as based on genuine co-development and not on obscuring the memory of a shared past for long lasting relationships. The recent France’s presidential elections impacting Algeria, are looked at here as positively as they could be in so many years.
The 187 odd years of very close relationship between the two countries will certainly be in the agendas of each as the renewed French leadership confronted to challenges from all around is settling down shortly for business anew.    
It is about preparing the future through mutual respect; a point that I always made during my various meetings with political and economic personalities, and maintained that Algeria should not be considered as a market only. It is in this context that a co-partnership between Algeria and France, far from prejudice and spirit of domination must be inscribed.
We must be aware that the new international relations are no more based on relationships between heads of State, but on custom networks and on decentralized organizations through the involvement of notably business and civil society cooperation, dialogue of cultures, tolerance and the symbiosis of the contributions of the East and the West.

Because it might be unproductive to be and remain locked in distant positions as the latest events should rather make us think of to how avoid antagonising each other beliefs be it religious.  After all Islam, Christianity or Judaism did contribute to the development of civilization.

Future relations between Algeria and France must also concern the Maghreb-Europe space and more generally the Mediterranean-Europe area. Our two countries can be dynamic agents, because southern Europe and the Maghreb cannot escape adaptation to the current global changes (the present crisis already causing upheaval in both socio-economic and geo-strategic) and more generally throughout the Mediterranean region.

Because it is necessary to go beyond narrow chauvinist nationalism insofar as real nationalism will be defined in the future as the ability to together expand the standard of living of our people by our contribution to the global value.

Today’s world is characterized by interdependence. This does not mean the end of the role of the State but a separation of politics and economics which cannot be the vagaries of the economic climate, the State dedicated to its natural role as regulator of macroeconomic and macro-social life.  I firmly believe and after analysis that the intensification of the cooperation between  Algeria and France not forgetting all other cooperation between Algeria and the USA, all emerging countries such as China, Japan, India, the Brazil, Turkey, South Korea and Russia etc…

And in a more comprehensive way between the Maghreb and Europe as based on a genuine co-development, partnership, the introduction of direct investment would upset the bureaucratic behaviour conservative annuitants and enrol them in a dynamic perspective that is beneficial to the peoples of the region thus helping to  turn the Mediterranean into a lake of peace and prosperity.  The Mediterranean can be that place of rational networking to communicate with distant cultures, encouraging the symbiosis of contributions of the East and the West.

This network should facilitate communication links, freedom insofar as the excesses of the collective voluntarism inhibit any spirit of creativity. It is that the Maghreb and Europe are two geographic areas with an opening on the Latinity millennial experience and the Arab world with natural links and overall culture and Anglo-Saxon influences…

It is essential that Europe developed all actions that can be implemented to achieve a desirable balance within this set. In fact the formation of weak regional economic areas is a step of structural adjustment within the globalized economy with for a goal to promote political democracy, – a humanized, competitive market economy – promotion of ideas through social and cultural debates so as to combat extremism and racism – the implementation of common business whilst never forgetting that these are driven by the logic of profit and not emotions.

Thus, it is necessary to pay special attention to the educational action because human thinking and creation should in the future be the beneficiary and the leading actor in the development process. That’s why I would advocate the creation of a Euro-Maghrebine University as a cultural center as well as a central Euro Mediterranean bank as a facilitator for all Exchange.

It is in this context that a realistic approach must be apprehended so as to the co-partnership between Algeria and France taking into account all potentialities.  At the global level, we are witnessing the evolution of a built-up passed based on a purely material vision, characterized by hierarchical rigid organizations, to a new mode of accumulation based on the mastery of knowledge, of new technologies and flexible organizations as networking around the world, with globally segmented supply chains of production where investment in comparative advantages takes place in sub-segments of these channels.

As rightly noted by Jean-Louis Guigou, President of IPEMED (Institute of Prospective Economic of the Mediterranean world, in Paris), it should be that, in the interest of both of the Algerians and of the French, and more generally of the Maghreb and the Europeans as well as all South-Mediterranean populations, the boundaries of the common market of the future, the borders of Schengen in the future, the borders of social protection in the future the borders of the environmental requirements of tomorrow, must be South of the Morocco, the Tunisia and Algeria, South and East of the Lebanon, Syria, of the Jordan and the Turkey, through a lasting peace in the Middle East, Arab and Jewish populations with a thousand-year history of peaceful coexistence.

Specifically, Algeria and France have economically other strengths and potential for the promotion of diverse activities and this experience can be an example of this global partnership becoming the privileged axis of the re-balancing of the South of Europe by amplification and the tightening of links and exchanges in different forms. Per the official foreign trade balance of Algeria in 2016, the countries of the European Union are still its main partners, with the respective proportions of 47.47% and 57.95% of exports and imports.  Italy is the main customer and France the main supplier.

Between France and Algeria, trade can be intensified in all areas, i.e.: agriculture, industry, services, tourism, education, not to mention cooperation in the military field, where Algeria can be an active player, as shown by its efforts to bring stability to the region.

Also, let’s not forget the diaspora with residents of Algerian origin in France that would exceed 4 million, including more than 2 million bi-nationals. This regardless of the numbers is an essential element of reconciliation between Algeria and France, because it holds significant intellectual, economic and financial potential. The promotion of the relations between Algeria and its emigrant community should be mobilized in various stages of intervention initiatives of all the parties concerned, namely the Government, diplomatic missions, universities, entrepreneurs and civil society.

Hence, any intensification of this cooperation won’t possible – whilst not forgetting the duty of memory – if Algeria and France have a realistic approach to the co-partnership for a win-win partnership away from any mercantilism and spirit of domination. The two countries must have a common vision of their future.

Algeria can overcome its current difficulties but the success of national and international industrial partnerships is not feasible without a total renovation of all central and local governance systems with a coherent vision based on both political, social, economic structural reforms including financial market, land and property market, labour and especially reform of the socio-educational system, at the dawn of the fourth technological revolution.

The objective for Algeria is to commit for structural reform, whilst assuming a broad internal mobilization of the social front, tolerating the different sensitivities, in the face of the many challenges in order to allow Algeria to emerge, in the medium and long term.  For this, the dominance of the bureaucratic approach must give way to economic operational approach, with positive social and economic impacts. Also, in the face of the new global changes, Algeria undergoing this transition towards a productive economy closely tied to its energy transition, needs an accumulation of technological and management expertise with assistance from its foreign partners.

In short, Algeria and France are key actors for the stability of the region, and that any destabilization of Algeria would have negative geo-strategic repercussions throughout the Mediterranean and African region, as I pointed out in my interview on December 28, 2016, the American Herald Tribune (3).

And of course, subject to Algeria furthering into the rule of law, democratization of society and that it’s reorienting its economic policy in order to achieve sustainable development. The current tensions between Algeria and France are only temporary, as per information gathered with friends of mine in France.

It is only in this context that cooperation must return for a win-win partnership far from all prejudice and in mutual respect.

Notes : See recent contributions and international interviews of Professor Abderrahmane Mebtoul

  1. -«Wahl in Algerien Der Graben ist tief – wer stimmt ab?» – www.tagesschau.de –ARD-  04/05/2017
  2. -« Après Glavany et Macron… « Dépassionner les relations entre l’Algérie et la France » quotidien financier  français la Tribune .Fr 19 février 2017 – (“After Glavany and Macron…» “Take the heat out the relationship between Algeria and France” by French financial daily la Tribune.fr  19 February 2017)
  3.  – American Herald Tribune 28/12/2016 «  Prof. Abderrahmane Mebtoul: Any Destabilization of Algeria would have Geo-strategic Repercussions on all the Mediterranean and African Space
  4.  -Interviews with the weekly Point Afrique (Paris-24/03/2016) and the Express (07/04/2016, Paris) on the prospects for co-operation Algeria-France.
  5.  -This theme was developed by Prof. Abderrahmane Mebtoul, on 7 April 2016 in Marseille at the Mediterranean Villa

 

France’s presidential elections impacting Algeria

And the prospects of mutual cooperation . . .

The two countries confronted to their specific challenges ought to have a common vision in order to contribute to a prosperous future as based on genuine co-development and not on obscuring the memory of a shared past for long lasting relationships. The recent France’s presidential elections impacting Algeria, are looked at here as positively as they could be in so many years. [ . . . ]

And the prospects of mutual cooperation . . .

The two countries  confronted to their specific challenges ought to have a common vision in order to contribute to a prosperous future as based on genuine co-development and not on obscuring the memory of a shared past for long lasting relationships. The recent France’s presidential elections impacting Algeria, are looked at here as positively as they could be in so many years.

The 187 odd years of very close relationship between the two countries will certainly be in the agendas of each as the renewed French leadership confronted to challenges from all around is settling down shortly for business anew.    

It is about preparing the future through mutual respect; a point that I always made during my various meetings with political and economic personalities, and maintained that Algeria should not be considered as a market only. It is in this context that a co-partnership between Algeria and France, far from prejudice and spirit of domination must be inscribed.

We must be aware that the new international relations are no more based on relationships between heads of State, but on custom networks and on decentralized organizations through the involvement of notably business and civil society cooperation, dialogue of cultures, tolerance and the symbiosis of the contributions of the East and the West.

Because it might be unproductive to be and remain locked in distant positions as the latest events should rather make us think of to how avoid antagonising each other beliefs be it religious.  After all Islam, Christianity or Judaism did contribute to the development of civilization.

Future relations between Algeria and France must also concern the Maghreb-Europe space and more generally the Mediterranean-Europe area. Our two countries can be dynamic agents, because southern Europe and the Maghreb cannot escape adaptation to the current global changes (the present crisis already causing upheaval in both socio-economic and geo-strategic) and more generally throughout the Mediterranean region.

Because it is necessary to go beyond narrow chauvinist nationalism insofar as real nationalism will be defined in the future as the ability to together expand the standard of living of our people by our contribution to the global value.

Today’s world is characterized by interdependence. This does not mean the end of the role of the State but a separation of politics and economics which cannot be the vagaries of the economic climate, the State dedicated to its natural role as regulator of macroeconomic and macro-social life.  I firmly believe and after analysis that the intensification of the cooperation between  Algeria and France not forgetting all other cooperation between Algeria and the USA, all emerging countries such as China, Japan, India, the Brazil, Turkey, South Korea and Russia etc…

And in a more comprehensive way between the Maghreb and Europe as based on a genuine co-development, partnership, the introduction of direct investment would upset the bureaucratic behaviour conservative annuitants and enrol them in a dynamic perspective that is beneficial to the peoples of the region thus helping to  turn the Mediterranean into a lake of peace and prosperity.  The Mediterranean can be that place of rational networking to communicate with distant cultures, encouraging the symbiosis of contributions of the East and the West.

This network should facilitate communication links, freedom insofar as the excesses of the collective voluntarism inhibit any spirit of creativity. It is that the Maghreb and Europe are two geographic areas with an opening on the Latinity millennial experience and the Arab world with natural links and overall culture and Anglo-Saxon influences…

It is essential that Europe developed all actions that can be implemented to achieve a desirable balance within this set. In fact the formation of weak regional economic areas is a step of structural adjustment within the globalized economy with for a goal to promote political democracy, – a humanized, competitive market economy – promotion of ideas through social and cultural debates so as to combat extremism and racism – the implementation of common business whilst never forgetting that these are driven by the logic of profit and not emotions.

Thus, it is necessary to pay special attention to the educational action because human thinking and creation should in the future be the beneficiary and the leading actor in the development process. That’s why I would advocate the creation of a Euro-Maghrebine University as a cultural center as well as a central Euro Mediterranean bank as a facilitator for all Exchange.

It is in this context that a realistic approach must be apprehended so as to the co-partnership between Algeria and France taking into account all potentialities.  At the global level, we are witnessing the evolution of a built-up passed based on a purely material vision, characterized by hierarchical rigid organizations, to a new mode of accumulation based on the mastery of knowledge, of new technologies and flexible organizations as networking around the world, with globally segmented supply chains of production where investment in comparative advantages takes place in sub-segments of these channels.

As rightly noted by Jean-Louis Guigou, President of IPEMED (Institute of Prospective Economic of the Mediterranean world, in Paris), it should be that, in the interest of both of the Algerians and of the French, and more generally of the Maghreb and the Europeans as well as all South-Mediterranean populations, the boundaries of the common market of the future, the borders of Schengen in the future, the borders of social protection in the future the borders of the environmental requirements of tomorrow, must be South of the Morocco, the Tunisia and Algeria, South and East of the Lebanon, Syria, of the Jordan and the Turkey, through a lasting peace in the Middle East, Arab and Jewish populations with a thousand-year history of peaceful coexistence.

Specifically, Algeria and France have economically other strengths and potential for the promotion of diverse activities and this experience can be an example of this global partnership becoming the privileged axis of the re-balancing of the South of Europe by amplification and the tightening of links and exchanges in different forms. Per the official foreign trade balance of Algeria in 2016, the countries of the European Union are still its main partners, with the respective proportions of 47.47% and 57.95% of exports and imports.  Italy is the main customer and France the main supplier.

Between France and Algeria, trade can be intensified in all areas, i.e.: agriculture, industry, services, tourism, education, not to mention cooperation in the military field, where Algeria can be an active player, as shown by its efforts to bring stability to the region.

Also, let’s not forget the diaspora with residents of Algerian origin in France that would exceed 4 million, including more than 2 million bi-nationals. This regardless of the numbers is an essential element of reconciliation between Algeria and France, because it holds significant intellectual, economic and financial potential. The promotion of the relations between Algeria and its emigrant community should be mobilized in various stages of intervention initiatives of all the parties concerned, namely the Government, diplomatic missions, universities, entrepreneurs and civil society.

Hence, any intensification of this cooperation won’t possible – whilst not forgetting the duty of memory – if Algeria and France have a realistic approach to the co-partnership for a win-win partnership away from any mercantilism and spirit of domination. The two countries must have a common vision of their future.

Algeria can overcome its current difficulties but the success of national and international industrial partnerships is not feasible without a total renovation of all central and local governance systems with a coherent vision based on both political, social, economic structural reforms including financial market, land and property market, labour and especially reform of the socio-educational system, at the dawn of the fourth technological revolution.

The objective for Algeria is to commit for structural reform, whilst assuming a broad internal mobilization of the social front, tolerating the different sensitivities, in the face of the many challenges in order to allow Algeria to emerge, in the medium and long term.  For this, the dominance of the bureaucratic approach must give way to economic operational approach, with positive social and economic impacts. Also, in the face of the new global changes, Algeria undergoing this transition towards a productive economy closely tied to its energy transition, needs an accumulation of technological and management expertise with assistance from its foreign partners.

In short, Algeria and France are key actors for the stability of the region, and that any destabilization of Algeria would have negative geo-strategic repercussions throughout the Mediterranean and African region, as I pointed out in my interview on December 28, 2016, the American Herald Tribune (3).

And of course, subject to Algeria furthering into the rule of law, democratization of society and that it’s reorienting its economic policy in order to achieve sustainable development. The current tensions between Algeria and France are only temporary, as per information gathered with friends of mine in France.

It is only in this context that cooperation must return for a win-win partnership far from all prejudice and in mutual respect.

 

Notes : See recent contributions and international interviews of Professor Abderrahmane Mebtoul

  1. -«Wahl in Algerien Der Graben ist tief – wer stimmt ab?» – www.tagesschau.de –ARD-  04/05/2017
  2. -« Après Glavany et Macron… « Dépassionner les relations entre l’Algérie et la France » quotidien financier  français la Tribune .Fr 19 février 2017 – (“After Glavany and Macron…» “Take the heat out the relationship between Algeria and France” by French financial daily la Tribune.fr  19 February 2017)
  3.  – American Herald Tribune 28/12/2016 «  Prof. Abderrahmane Mebtoul: Any Destabilization of Algeria would have Geo-strategic Repercussions on all the Mediterranean and African Space
  4.  -Interviews with the weekly Point Afrique (Paris-24/03/2016) and the Express (07/04/2016, Paris) on the prospects for co-operation Algeria-France.
  5.  -This theme was developed by Prof. Abderrahmane Mebtoul, on 7 April 2016 in Marseille at the Mediterranean Villa