Economics Affairs

Investment in youth, "valuable" for Algeria, says Prime Minister

APS - 26 March 2018

ALGIERS– Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia said Monday in Algiers that addressing youth concerns represented a "major challenge of modern time" but also a "valuable investment" for Algeria in the future. In his opening speech of the Regional Conference on A New Economy for Middle East and North Africa Countries: Youth, Technology and Finance, organized by the Finance Ministry, the World Bank and the Arab Monetary Fund, Ouyahia said that Algeria boasted about the fact that 11 million of its children, i.e. more than one quarter of the population, go everyday to schools, universities and the vocational training centres.

This almost free education and training policy annually consumes over $10 billion of the State's budget, added the Premier.

Underlining that youth needs are also employment, Ouyahia said that Algeria managed to reduce unemployment rate from 30% in 2000 to less than 12% now. Such an achievement was possible through the efforts for reviving and diversifying the economy and creating jobs, notably for youth.

The Prime Minister mentioned the micro-companies support programmes, which allowed Algerian young people to create more than 500,000 new businesses in all the fields and 1.2 million permanent jobs since 2010.

Algeria intends to benefit from the advantages of the digital economy since it has devoted the required efforts in the present and for the future, said Ouyahia, recalling the training dispensed to nearly 90% of intermediate and high school students and 20,000 computer technicians and engineers.

He added that Algeria continues to develop its national fiber optic network, which already 120,000 kilometers and it is working to digitalize the national public service network, namely justice, local administration and national education.

          == Knowledge-based economy, at the heart of battle for development==

Continuing his speech before the participants in this regional conference, the Premier affirmed that Algeria is shifting towards the digital world in the banking and commercial fields, and generally in the business-related sectors, by notably updating the relating laws.  

However, said Ouyahia, in the Algerian economic and financial sectors "much work remains to be done, in order to modernize the business environment."

"This is why we conduct reform programmes in collaboration with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund," he said.

The PM also gave an insight into the way in which Algeria is working to respond to these various challenges, saying that under the leadership of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, Algeria "is witnessing a genuine dynamics after a painful tragedy that caused the loss of lives and destroyed the economic assets and made us lagging behind in development."

"But our challenges in Algeria remain significant, especially meeting the needs of a population that totals 40 million, 60% of whom are youth," he stressed.