Summary: will the energy price rise caused by Putin’s war in Ukraine allow Algeria to return to a position of power and prominence in North Africa and the wider Middle East?
Francis Ghilès, associate senior researcher at the Barcelona Centre for International Affairs, is Arab Digest editor William Law’s guest this week. Algeria, like other hydrocarbon producers, has experienced a huge windfall thanks to the war in Ukraine. The question is will the country see itself return to a position of prominence in North Africa and beyond or will it once again squander the opportunity and remain locked in a dysfunctional economy and a frozen political system?
Summary: opportunity beckons for Algeria as Europe struggles to meet its urgent need for reliable gas supplies but much needs to change in the energy, financial and industry sectors for the country to realise its full potential as a major European gas supplier.
Summary: as President Kais Saied relentlessly consolidates power, the country he presides over continues its downward spiral as he pursues economic stratagems untethered from reality.
Summary: previously seen as a model of stability and solid economic growth, Morocco is struggling with an economy battered by COVID and the fallout from the war in Ukraine; to further complicate matters the king is in failing health and a succession battle looms.
At number 4 in our all-time top ten podcasts is Francis Ghilès’ Algeria and Morocco: neighbours with issues released 23 July 2021. Francis is a specialist on security, energy and political trends in North Africa and the western Mediterranean, and associate senior researcher at the Barcelona Centre for international affairs. From 1981 to 1995 he was a North Africa correspondent for the Financial Times, and has written for numerous publications including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Le Monde, and El Pais.
Coming in at number nine in our all-time Arab Digest top ten is Annelle Sheline’s podcast The Weaponisation of Moderate Islam, first broadcast 30 July 2021. Annelle is a Research Fellow in the Middle East program at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft and an expert on religious and political authority in the Middle East and North Africa.
Summary: Italy, Algeria and Tunisia share an energy nexus of interest that has the potential to alter the economic landscape for all three as Europe scrambles to free itself from its dependency on Russian oil and gas.
Summary: Morocco implements new legislation regarding the production and sale of cannabis but full decriminalisation is still a long way off.
Summary: the media landscape in MENA shows a harsh story of journalists jailed, criticism silenced and authoritarians in absolute control.