Algeria facing Sub Saharan Migration with Difficulty

And it needs a strategy adapted to the new realities
Algeria facing sub Saharan migration with difficulty is currently a very sensitive subject that divides the Algerians and in the opinion of the majority of the experts I consulted it is more complex than it appears. The migration issue would, to paraphrase the military language require having a strategic vision, taking account of the present world’s socio-political mutations. So it will be a matter of posing the real problems in order to perhaps get real solutions away from any demagoguery and one-upmanship. If the security aspect has to be looked at, so be it but as guarantor of national security.

Advertisements

And it needs a strategy adapted to the new realities

Algeria facing sub Saharan migration with difficulty is currently a very sensitive subject that divides the Algerians and in the opinion of the majority of the experts I consulted it is more complex than it appears. The migration issue would, to paraphrase the military language require having a strategic vision, taking account of the present world’s socio-political mutations. So it will be a matter of posing the real problems in order to perhaps get real solutions away from any demagoguery and one-upmanship. If the security aspect has to be looked at, so be it but as guarantor of national security.

We are in the era of globalization where migration flows are a reality.   Transhumance as it were migration are fundamentally for the same causes of rapid urbanization and metropolization of the world, over-population pressures, sporadic unemployment, rapid spread of news and literally transnationalization of migratory networks.

The categories of migrants and countries have become more complex, the globalisation of migration with a regionalisation of migratory flows. Globally, migrations are organized geographically where complementarities are built between start and host areas. These correspond to geographical proximity, historical, linguistic and cultural ties to transnational networks built by migrants and smugglers that form a formal or informal traffic, with space or no institutional facilities of passage.

Migration has more than tripled since the middle of 1970s: 77 million in 1975, 120 million in 1999, 150 million in the early 2000s, nearly 300 million in 2017. In 2016, immigration from the Africa of 1.2 billion people exceeded the Syrian, Iraqi, and Afghan arrivals in Europe. What will it be when that continent will accommodate 2.5 billion people, or a quarter of the world’s population in 2050?

According to an article by Le Monde of January 6, 2017 citing Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, 93% of those who landed in Italy, came from that continent. This agency estimated that “this reflects the growing migratory pressure on the African continent, and particularly in Western Africa that is responsible for the bulk of the growth in arrivals by this route in 2016”.

African immigration is mixed, consisting of eligible refugees in Asylum Law (Eritreans, Sudanese, Ethiopians), but also economic, particularly from the West African migrants. The main communities arriving in Italy, the Nigerians constituted 21% of the entrants, followed by Eritreans (11.7%), Guineans (7.2%) and the Ivoirians (6.7%). This reflected the factors of mobility for different reasons: discrepancies between the levels of human development, political and environmental crises producing refugees and displaced, decreasing costs of transport, generalization of passports issuance, role of the media, rising consciousness that change to life by international migration is feasible.

Global warming that is already affecting Africa is anticipated to hit it harder by 2025/2030/2040, thus will most certainly accentuate this exodus.

 The reasons are multiple and could be that : a prevailing hopelessness in all those poor countries that are badly governed. It is up to the leaders of the South to take their responsibility instead of always taking advantage of the exceptional wealth of resources of this continent whilst encouraging corruption and enabling purchases of luxury assets deposited in tax havens.

If there is a corrupted, then there must be a corruptor. A recent report by the United Nations shows illegal capital transfers from Africa to the rest of the world between 1980 and 2010 exceeded the current gross domestic product of Africa and all related cumulated aid.  The Valletta summit in November 2015 that brought European and African leaders together was devoted to this topic, but the measures announced are not considered sufficient despite the €1.8 billion cheque signed by the European Union to these countries.

Lack of good governance and total absence of a real fight against corruption, hence demonstrating a certain lack of morality, the African leaders, would go as far as instead of avoid these fratricidal wars for either seizing power or any other objective not always honourable.  The majority of them leaders were unable to lay real development programs, not to mention having a very contemptuous attitude for their elite pushing its members to a certain brain drain, unlike their speeches that under a false guise of “nationalism” that does not carry anymore.

These factors highlight the bipolarization between three worlds that of the wealthy, the emerging and the poor countries that push their people of the latter to a certain and continuous exodus as we can daily witness from this tragic collective suicide of thousands trying desperately to cross seas and land borders for a better and / or safe life. Leaders of the North and equally of the South are largely responsible for this state of affairs.

Faced with this situation, the Algerian leaders must have a different vision because Algeria is no longer considered a transit or passage only, but a country where Africans and others settle permanently.

The agreement between the EU and Turkey, signed in March 2016 and by which Ankara agrees against finance to control the passing emigration to Europe through its territory, is an explanation to what many Africans decide to settle permanently in the neighbouring countries including Algeria.

Today Africans from south of the Sahara represent barely 10% of migrants in the world, and most of these ‘displaced’ just moved into a neighbouring country of their own. According to the IOM, in 2015, I quote from the report: “on the 32 million who took to the road, half of them have asked their bag on their continent.

A new situation is before us and it is that of the African migrants who did not come of their own accord but have fled misery and war, no longer pass but settle permanently at the level of the regions of the Maghreb including Algeria as per international agreements.

This new situation therefore calls for new solutions; certainly not from a vision of xenophobic, racist, or from a behaviour alien to the nature of the Algerian population. It comes from adapting the Algerian legislation, but especially to coordinate all actions with Europe, with neighbouring countries, with all concerned African leaders with any involved repatriation, without devaluing the human person.  Also there is need to establish some of residence and transitional system of identification for a chosen emigration depending on the particular needs of Algeria in agriculture, tourism, building and infrastructure development, etc. all whilst avoiding any demeaning assistance.

The position of Algeria since independence has been a consistent one towards Africa, its natural economic space.  It would be a trial of intention to, as we currently see it through the majority of the international media to misrepresent it as efforts against these migratory flows.  These must be pooled, Algeria being unable to endure the financial weight to it, on its own.

As such I would think that the words of the Chief Clerk of the Presidency, speaking as a supporter as a Secretary General. of a leading party can only be as or poorly formulated and therefore have been widely misinterpreted. It simply belongs to the Algerian leaders to speak with one voice so as to avoid misinterpretation. 

In short, immigration raises the issue of global security that would require quick involvement with an overhaul of international relations based on win/win partnership but also and especially a renewed governance of each and every African country.  Africa is endowed with a high and rich potential but is presently enduring growing hardship with no end in sight.  For as far as Algeria is concerned, his Excellency Mr. the President of the Republic has always paid a particular attention as demonstrated with the NEPAD initiative. 

 ademmebtoul@gmail.com 

 

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

Qatar crisis impacts on the rest of the MENA region

The “Qatar vs GCC + Egypt” crisis carries on at not only the expense of Qatar but to also all concerned such as Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain.  We elaborated on this last aspect in our Latest Diplomatic Crisis impacts Dubai City http://www.mena-forum.com/36806-2/ where we anticipated significant losses for Dubai, Riyadh and Manama alike.  Life carrying on unabated, there must surely be drawbacks for everyone during and after this semi-political upheaval between the parties.  The impacts of the Qatar crisis on the rest of the MENA region have yet to be measured and accounted for. 

Following is a Chatham House conference of Qatar’ Foreign Affairs Minister’s response to the 13 points demand of Saudi Arabia and its allies.

The “Qatar vs GCC + Egypt” crisis carries on at not only the expense of Qatar but to also all concerned such as Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain.  We elaborated on this last aspect in our Latest Diplomatic Crisis impacts Dubai City  where we anticipated significant losses for Dubai, Riyadh and Manama alike.  Life carrying on unabated, there must surely be drawbacks for everyone during and after this semi-political upheaval between the parties.  The Qatar crisis impacts on the rest of the MENA region have yet to be measured and accounted for. 
Following is a Chatham House conference of Qatar’ Foreign Affairs Minister’s response to the 13 points demand of Saudi Arabia and its allies.

The Crisis in the Gulf: Qatar Responds

The foreign minister of Qatar outlined his country’s position and response to the accusations made and diplomatic measures taken against Doha by a number of countries including Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

https://youtu.be/8ksR1C8B2HA

05 July 2017

HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani, Minister of Foreign Affairs, State of Qatar
Chair: Dr Robin Niblett CMG, Director, Chatham House

Overview

The foreign minister of Qatar outlined his country’s position and response to the accusations made and diplomatic measures taken against Doha by a number of countries including Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

More information at The Crisis in the Gulf: Qatar Responds

The Crisis in the Gulf: Qatar Responds The foreign minister of Qatar outlined his country’s position and response to the accusations made and diplomatic measures taken against Doha by a number of countries including Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Play 0:00 / 1:09:37 Fullscreen Mute Share 05 July 2017 HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani, Minister of Foreign Affairs, State of Qatar Chair: Dr Robin Niblett CMG, Director, Chatham House 01:09:37 Overview The foreign minister of Qatar outlined his country’s position and response to the accusations made and diplomatic measures taken against Doha by a number of countries including Saudi Arabia and the UAE. More information at The Crisis in the Gulf: Qatar Responds

Libya, a country that has known nothing but unrest

The MENA region is yet again under horrendous pressures not only within the usual northern part of the Middle East and lately in the Gulf area but still in that part of the North African desert. This story is about Libya, a country that has known nothing but unrest and upheaval since its forced change of regime in 2011. More recently a UN report informed that the UAE violated Libya’s arms embargo by secretly supplying the concerned in this article.  Would this have any bearing with the outcome as proposed in this article? 

Would also this liberation mean reunification and a unique and central authority over the country? Only time can tell but one thing is sure in that all countries surrounding Libya would sight with relief if this is achieved.

The MENA region is yet again under horrendous pressures not only within the usual northern part of the Middle East and lately in the Gulf area but still in that part of the North African desert. This story is about Libya, a country that has known nothing but unrest and upheaval since its forced change of regime in 2011. More recently a UN report informed that the UAE violated Libya’s arms embargo by secretly supplying the concerned in this article.  Would this have any bearing with the outcome as proposed in this article?
Would also this liberation mean reunification and a unique and central authority over the country? Only time can tell but one thing is sure in that all countries surrounding Libya would sight with relief if this is achieved.
Would this be accounted for in the Qatar blockade resolution? In any case, here is the BBC’s story.

Libya eastern commander Haftar declares Benghazi ‘liberated’

From the section Africa

The image above is of  REUTERS — Benghazi saw fierce clashes between the LNA and Islamist militants this week


The head of the self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) has said his forces “liberated” the eastern Benghazi city after years of fighting with Islamists.

Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar said the city now enters a new era of “security, peace and reconciliation”.

If confirmed, victory would mark a major advance for the one-time commander in the army of late strongman Muammar Gaddafi.

The LNA is not recognised by Libya’s UN-backed government in Tripoli.

Libya’s unrest since the 2011 ousting of Gaddafi saw extremist organisations, including so-called Islamic State, gain a foothold in the country.

In a televised speech on Wednesday, Field Marshal Haftar said that “after a continuous struggle against terrorism and its agents that lasted more than three years… we announce to you the liberation of Benghazi”.

Image copyright REUTERS – – – – Khalifa Haftar has backing from some foreign powers

His announcement comes after bloody battles this week in Benghazi’s Sabri district in which dozens of LNA fighters and various local Islamist militants died.

Pictures posted on social media sites showed some civilians in Benghazi and other parts of the country celebrating the end of a bitter conflict that left large parts of the country’s second city in ruins and displaced thousands of people in recent years.

But Field Marshal Haftar also has many political and armed opponents in Libya. He does not recognise the government in Tripoli, and instead backs the authorities in the east. Opponents accuse the commander, who has backing from some foreign powers, of trying to impose autocratic rule in Libya.

Divided opinion – analysis by Rana Jawad, BBC North Africa correspondent

Benghazi’s conflict over the last three years at times appeared to have no end in sight, and – as it grew – so too did the Field Marshal Haftar’s political and military ambitions.

This is a significant gain for him, and a city that has been aching for respite from the war. Opinions over the conflict in Benghazi are largely divided; many will be celebrating what they see as a war brought to their doorstep by Islamist militias at a time when political actors in Libya barely acknowledged there was a problem there, despite the near daily bombings and killings in the city.

Others view it as a product of a man who was power-hungry and lumped up all of his enemies under the banner of “Islamist terrorists” to pave the way for a future political role through the might of the gun. His short address dedicated to the people of Libya had an unusually reconciliatory tone, but it is not one that will ease worries over what his, or his opponents’ next move might be.

In Libya today, a military victory in one battlefield often opens the door to conflict in others.

Read more :

 

Qatar will not Negotiate with Arab States during Blockade

Qatar will not Negotiate with Arab States during Blockade unless they reverse their measures,” Qatar Foreign Affairs minister was reported as saying by the Saudi owned and Dubai based TV channel Al Arabiya on June 19, 2017.  This was presumably in response to the non-equivocal statement of the UAE’s minister of FA who confirmed that his country together with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt are standing firm on their decision of 2 weeks ago to isolate Qatar from the rest of the GCC countries and that this isolation could last years.
Meanwhile, the Financial Times’ Gideon Rachman warned its readership that the Qatar crisis could . . . .

Qatar will not Negotiate with Arab States during Blockade unless they reverse their measures,” Qatar Foreign Affairs minister was reported as saying by the Saudi owned and Dubai based TV channel Al Arabiya on June 19, 2017.  This was presumably in response to the non-equivocal statement of the UAE’s minister of FA who confirmed that his country together with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt are standing firm on their decision of 2 weeks ago to isolate Qatar from the rest of the GCC countries and that this isolation could last years.

Meanwhile, the Financial Times‘ Gideon Rachman warned its readership that the Qatar crisis could have global implications before adding that the Gulf States have been untouched by Middle Eastern turmoil but that is changing.  Elaborating further, the author sustains that for the past six years, there have been two Arab worlds.  “The world of violence and tragedy; and the world of glitz and globalisation.  Syria, Iraq, Libya and, to a lesser extent, Egypt — have been engulfed by conflict.  But Qatar, Abu Dhabi and Dubai have prospered as global hubs for travel, leisure, business and finance.”  And that “The booming Gulf metropolises seemed untouched by the violence in the rest of the Middle East.  They even profited indirectly, as safe havens in a region in turmoil.”

All that is fine or at least up until the author wonders whether the glitzy world of the Gulf could collapse in the same way it rapidly climbed to the shining lights of the world of fame and fortune.

In the meantime, there seems to be a wall as advanced by Gideon Rachman that is rammed down by this sudden irruption of the Qatar crisis of a blockade by its neighbours.

To well understand the underlying culture, it is worth remembering that since time immemorial, there has always been some sort of divide between the nomads and sedentarized populations of the Arab World.  It is no surprise that all Arab countries of today having recently gone through historical phases of Ottoman domination and rule, European domination and rule followed by independence through a well-publicized panarbism and self-rule via differing forms of governance.  Hence countries belonging to one or the other group have settled into on one hand monarchies, sultanates, emirates and on the other republics.  These latter are as well known to all in a very derelict situations but the other up until this Qatar crisis have with the advent of oil shone in their multi-faceted exploits of surging into the international limelight.  The latest exploit of individual countries are countless but most importantly is the Gulf wide exploit of the rail project development that should span traffic from Kuwait to Oman, along the western shore of the Arab-Persian Gulf.  This project as well as many others all in and / or around Qatar such as the Expo 2020 in Dubai as well as the Qatar 2022 World Cup will no doubt bear some consequences of this crisis.  Referring to the map of the Gulf above, could the proposed Alternative extension linking Qatar to the rest of the GCC pay the price of such regional skirmish.

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

 

Fast Going Encroachments on Egypt’s State Lands

Egypt’s 95% of populations live in the Nile delta and along its banks. The most heavily populated country of the MENA region that is like all countries of the Middle East going through rapid urbanisation has an issue of settlement of its population’s habitable space and yet not compromises its vital agricultural lands. Despite the successive governments trying to encourage the move towards some greened lands of the surrounding desert but in vain; fast going encroachments on Egypt’s state lands spread in those relatively small but habitable lands.

Egypt’s 95% of populations live in the Nile delta and along its banks.  The most heavily populated country of the MENA region that is like all countries of the Middle East going through rapid urbanisation has an issue of settlement of its population’s habitable space and yet not compromises its vital agricultural lands. Despite the successive governments trying to encourage the move towards some greened lands of the surrounding desert but in vain; fast going encroachments on Egypt’s state lands spread in those relatively small but habitable lands.  Employment, higher standards of life, etc. were obviously difficult to get over, up until recently where the newly “voted in” president Al Sisi has embarked on a mission of clearing the rare and so-called State lands of its squatting occupants.
This article proposed here below of Al-Monitor written by Khalid HassanContributor, Egypt Pulse is more than illustrative on the issue.

Egypt’s Sisi vows to recover state land from squatters

CAIRO — Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi recently expressed his anger at the illegal acquisition of state lands and issued a strong warning to those encroaching upon these lands. “It is no longer acceptable for anyone in Egypt to encroach upon state lands. It is no longer acceptable for people to take lands that belong to the state,” he said in a May 14 speech delivered during his visit to Qena province to inaugurate a set of projects.

Sisi tasked the armed forces and the police with putting an end to the illegal seizure of state lands and fully reclaim all the usurped state territories by force by May 31. “We are all for new investment projects and for facilitating the work of investors. As a state, we are trying to organize the process so that it does not spin out of control. It is not acceptable and will never be acceptable for people to [illegally] acquire such lands.”

During a June 7 conference to reveal the results of the campaign to retrieve state lands, Prime Minister Sherif Ismail said the government, with the help of its executive agencies, had managed to reverse 69% of the infringement cases so far. He added that during the next phase, the governors will play a more active role and government efforts will continue, with the aim to protect state lands from encroachment and prevent any new violations, while continuing to remove any previous violations.

This was not the first time that Sisi sought to confront the illegal use of state lands across the republic. On Feb. 18, Sisi issued a presidential decree to form a committee tasked with retrieving seized public land in all possible legal ways as well as drafting reports on the factors that led to their seizure, in order to propose solutions aimed at preventing future cases.

Encroachments on state lands spread like wildfire in Egypt following the January 25 Revolution in 2011, as the government failed to fight the phenomenon amid a state of chaos and the breakdown of the state apparatus. Those involved include businessmen and farmers.

The committee — headed by the assistant to the president of the Republic for National and Strategic Projects, Ibrahim Mahlab — includes Minister of Local Development Ahmed Zaki Badr; representatives of the ministries of justice, defense and interior; and representatives of the General Intelligence, the Administrative Control and the Public Funds Investigation departments within the Ministry of Interior, the Notaries Union of Egypt and the Egyptian Survey Authority.

This committee, however, failed to achieve the objective for which it was established, as the government and the executive bodies were not so cooperative, Majdi Malak — member of the Committee on Agriculture in the House of Representatives — told Al-Monitor.

Malak added, “President Sisi ordered the armed forces and police to get rid of all kinds of encroachments on the state lands due to the committee’s failure to deal with the issue. There are thousands of acres of agricultural lands that have been seized for the establishment of resorts and luxury compounds. This led to the accumulation of irregularities and to the rise of a complicated process to reverse them.”

“After the Jan. 25, 2011, revolution and the ensuing chaos and insecurity that plagued the country, Egyptian governorates witnessed several encroachments on agricultural lands for construction purposes, as the state stood silent without taking a decisive position against the aggressors,” he said.

On April 30, an official report from the Ministry of Agriculture’s Central Committee for Land Protection pointed out that the violations of fertile agricultural land since the January 25 Revolution until April 23, 2017, amounted to 1,690,734 cases, covering an area estimated at ​​75,216 acres. The report pointed out that only 377,490 cases covering 21,204 acres have been reversed.

Meanwhile, one of the most recent scientific studies of the government’s National Authority for Remote Sensing and Space Sciences revealed June 1, 2015, through satellite images analyzed by its scientists, that the rate of urban encroachment on agricultural land has increased by 23% annually in recent years in several governorates, thus resulting in a shortage in agricultural lands.

Scientists in the said authority predicted that by 2050, Egypt will lose about 17% of the delta area as a result of indiscriminate urbanization.

On Dec. 19, 2013, Ayman Farid Abu Hadid, then-Minister of Agriculture, pointed out in television statements that the ​​agricultural areas in Egypt did not exceed 8.5 million acres, and he said that the surface is very small compared to the large population. He stressed that the area needed by Egypt to cover the needs of its population goes up to 18 million acres.

The Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics said April 5 that Egypt’s population reached 92.75 million at home and 8 million people abroad. Thus, it added, Egypt has officially surpassed 100 million people, and the population growth rate reached 2.4%.

In a government effort to increase the ​​size of agricultural lands, Prime Minister Ismail’s government announced on Feb. 1, 2016, the start of the new Egyptian Countryside Development Company activities to reclaim 1.5 million acres with a capital of 8 billion Egyptian pounds ($441.9 million).

The spokesman for the Ministry of Agriculture, Hamed Abdel Dayem, told Al-Monitor that Sisi’s initiative to reclaim all the usurped state land significantly contributed to confronting the mafia looting state lands, and several provinces succeeded over the past few days in completely recovering agricultural land from looters.

Maj. Gen. Khaled Said, the governor of al-Sharqiya province, announced May 26 that 736 cases of infringement covering 48,112 acres in al-Sharqiya have been eliminated.

Meanwhile, Dakahlia Gov. Ahmed al-Sharaoui announced May 20 that the governorate got rid of 90% of the cases of infringement on state property.

“Agricultural land is a national security issue, and its protection is a national duty because constructions on agricultural lands threaten food insecurity, especially in light of Egypt’s food needs, dependence on imports and constantly increasing population,” Abdel Dayem said.

A study by the National Center for Agricultural Research, a government agency, revealed on July 18, 2016, that Egypt imported 65% of its food needs, including 9 million tons of wheat, 6 million tons of corn and 1 million tons of soybean.

“I expect the state to declare soon that it has reclaimed all of its territory, has reversed all of the related encroachments and will prevent any further infringements on its territory, especially after the adoption of a new agriculture law,” Abdel Dayem concluded.

The Egyptian parliament is currently discussing several bills to amend the current Agriculture Law and the provisions related to the penalties of building on agricultural land. Each bill includes different penalties for building on agricultural land ranging from fines of up to 5 million Egyptian pounds ($275,520) to up to five years’ imprisonment. The parliament is seeking to increase the penalty in order to deter violators. In addition, some of the bills call for the establishment of a new police under the Ministry of the Interior under the name of the Agricultural Land Protection Police, which has an internal building and is responsible for eliminating any encroachment on agricultural lands as soon as it occurs.

Under the current law, offenders face a penalty of imprisonment and a fine ranging from 10,000 to 50,000 Egyptian pounds ($551 to $2,755), depending on the number of irregularities. The parliament’s Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee is still discussing the draft laws for approval.