Algeria is the largest and most powerful nation in the Sahara region, and the third-largest producer of natural gas in the world. Now officials at state-run Sonatrach are saying that oil and gas production should increase in the next five years, reversing a decline.
As investors contemplate new ventures in Algeria, they must also consider the growing security threats spilling over its borders: threats that could make the January 2013 Amenas hostage crisis pale by comparison.
Though Algeria has one of the largest and most powerful military forces in all of Africa, security forces are challenged now by the increasing momentum of weapons and rebel movements from Libya over the past two years; the ongoing conflict in Mali (despite downplaying of this in the media); the emergence of jihadist groups as highly organized criminal networks to ensure intensified recruitment and funding success; and the rise of jihadists in Tunisia coupled with the political crisis there.
Our intelligence wing, OP Tactical, closely monitors the dynamics of these groups across the Sahel in tandem with the movements of other power players in the region to determine changing capabilities, coordination of groups and potential targets.
In the New Year, Algeria will also be challenged by domestic politics with 2014 elections. As we noted in our last report on Algeria in November, the Ruling National Liberation Front (FLN) has designed President Abdelaziz Bouteflika candidate for 2014…