Tebboune Says to Find New Resources to Ease Economic Crisis

Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune claps during a swearing-in ceremony in Algiers, Algeria December 19, 2019. REUTERS/Ramzi Boudina

Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune revealed on Friday plans to develop new natural resources including uranium, gold and phosphate.

The president said the plans will kick off with the help of foreign investors. This will be after the end of the health crisis caused by COVID-19.

“The novel coronavirus has frozen several plans and projects. But these plans will start after overcoming the health crisis,” Tebboune said on state television.

“We don’t take full advantage of several resources. The list includes for example uranium, gold and phosphate. We are ready to develop them with foreign partners.”

Algeria still relies heavily on energy earnings despite previous announcements that it would carry out reforms and develop the non-hydrocarbon sector, Reuters reported.

The coronavirus outbreak has worsened the economic situation with energy earnings dropping further, forcing the government to cut spending and planned investment for 2020.

A large proportion of Algeria’s energy export revenue is to pay for imports of goods including food with a bill estimated annually at $45bn.

“We insist on developing our agriculture and reduce significantly the value of purchases from abroad,” Tebboune noted.

Also, the Algerian government decided to postpone loan payments for state and private firms financially hit by the novel coronavirus. Tebboune also said they will take more measures to benefit companies and the self-employed.

“Losses of firms are being assessed. We are ready to provide financial support. Even self-employed people such as taxi drivers and hairdressers will be helped,” he stressed.