North Africa

UN Libya map

LIBYA EXPERTISE

I have covered Libya since 2004 and reported from Tripoli prior to the 2011 revolution. I am an expert in politics and political risk, investment, economy and energy. I have provided consultancy services on Libya for leading political risk organisations on topics including the oil and gas sector, the defence and security sector and political [...]

Map of Algeria

ALGERIA EXPERTISE

I have covered Algeria on a weekly basis since 2004 and have travelled to the country several times. I am an expert across all sectors, including politics, political risk, investment, energy and the economy. I have an excellent in-country network, having interviewed ministers, politicians, heads of government organisations and foreign companies, analysts, diplomats and NGOs. [...]

Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika

Algeria’s Regime Under Threat

MEES, 8 March 2019 Hundreds of thousands of Algerians have taken to the streets to demand an end to the 20-year presidency of Abdelaziz Bouteflika. Just five weeks remain before planned presidential elections on 18 April, at which the 82-year-old Bouteflika is running for a controversial fifth term. There have been protests against the regime [...]


Sonatrach CEO Abdelmoumen Ould Kaddour is restructuring the state oil company in an effort to address the slump in Algeria’s oil and gas output

Sonatrach: Can Shake-Up Haul Lumbering Behemoth Into The 21st Century?

MEES, 24 August 2018 Sonatrach president Abdelmoumen Ould Kaddour has been quietly carrying out a major restructuring of the firm’s management, including the creation of several new divisions and a change of personnel in other key posts. The changes include the creation of three new vice-president positions: VP finance, to which executive finance director Mohamed [...]

Libya oil infrastructure map

Libya: Fractured Institutions Fail To Distribute Oil Revenue Gains

MEES, 24 August 2018 Libya’s oil production recovered to more than 1mn b/d in mid-August following a collapse to just 400,000 b/d early in July. The reopening of key export terminals in the east of the country has enabled a resumption of production from oil fields in the Sirte basin ( MEES, 13 July ). [...]

Libya government budget and finances H1 2018

Libya’s Financial Black Hole

MEES, 17 August 2018 Libya near-balanced its budget in 1H 2018. But this was ‘thanks’ to chronic state weakness that left spending 21% under budget. Revenues were up with higher oil prices, but non-oil revenue remains abysmal. The UN plans an audit of Libya’s finances in a bid to help tackle corruption. But, if the [...]


UN Special Envoy to Libya Ghassan Salamé

Libya Election Timetable To Slip Further Amid Factional Divisions

MEES, 27 July 2018 Libya’s parliament, the House of Representatives (HOR) is poised to vote on the terms of a planned referendum on constitutional changes, with a timetable in place for elections by the end of the year. But after another round of damaging politicking in recent weeks, there is little chance that the plans [...]

Start-up of Timimoun development on Southwest Gas Project heralds record Algeria gas production in 2018

Algeria Gas Set For Record 2018 With Start-Up Of Key Southwest Fields

MEES, 2 March 2018 Algeria’s 2017 gas output was only just shy of record levels set the previous year. With the second of two key ‘Southwest Gas Project’ components starting up this week, the country can expect new records in 2018. The 24 February start-up of output at the Timimoun gas field makes it the [...]

Algeria gas output losses from project delays 2013-20 (bcm)

Delayed Projects To Shave Cumulative 80bcm From Algeria’s Gas Output By 2020

MEES, 14 July 2017 If the Timimoun and Touat projects had come on stream in early 2014, Ahnet at the beginning of 2015 and Reggane North at the beginning of 2016 – targets that back in 2010 looked conservative – and assuming they maintained plateau rates until the end of June this year, they would [...]


ISIS in the Middle East & North Africa, 2015

North Africa Security Special Report: Too Late To Roll Back Islamic State?

MEES, 18 September 2015 The growing presence of terrorist movements across North Africa, particularly in Libya, threatens to destabilize the whole region. Even in the best case scenario, involving a peace deal in Libya, there is no prospect of an end to the threat posed by Islamic State. Overseas investment in the region will continue to [...]

President Bouteflika's ailing health has left him confined to a wheelchair

Bouteflika debate consumes Algerian politics

Opponents question the ailing president’s fitness to govern, but critics say the country lacks a credible alternative. Al Jazeera – 8 August 2014 Last month, Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika surpassed the 100-day mark of his term after winning an unprecedented fourth mandate on April 17. In other parts of the world, the 100-day point presents [...]

Algeria has the third-largest shale gas resevers in the world

Algeria looks to develop shale gas sector

New wells could be critical to boosting the country’s standing as an international gas exporter, but challenges persist. Al Jazeera – 28 July 2014 Algeria has announced plans to drill four shale gas wells by the end of 2014 as it begins assessing the commercial viability of a resource base estimated to be the third-largest [...]


Top 15 countries by military expenditure 2013 in $bn (SIPRI)

MENA Countries Hike Defense Spending For 2013

MEES, 18 April 2014 MENA military spending has more than doubled since 2004, rising 4% to $150bn for 2013, according to a report released this week by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). Saudi Arabia was the world’s fourth biggest spender, and the highest in the region in 2013, spending an estimated $67bn on [...]

Algerian independent opposition candidate Kamal Benkoussa

Silence please, Algeria is dying: an interview with Kamal Benkoussa

The Atlantic Council – 17 April 2014 Today is Election Day in Algeria and analysts predict that the aging and ailing incumbent President Abdelaziz Bouteflika stands to win yet another term in office, effectively making him president for life. The political space has remained closed since the government canceled the country’s first democratic elections in [...]

President Abdelaziz Bouteflika Algeria

Bouteflika win likely in Algeria amid dissent

Despite unprecedented opposition protests, Algerians are poised to re-elect president to fourth term. Al Jazeera – 13 April 2014 A group of protesters gathered last month at Algiers University in the centre of the city, ready to demonstrate against Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s decision to run for a fourth consecutive term as president of Algeria. Police were [...]


Morocco Projects Report 2014

Morocco Projects Market 2014 report published

A comprehensive overview of the fast-emerging Morocco projects market 12 March 2014 The latest in a series of market intelligence reports I’ve written for MEED Insight, the Morocco Projects Market 2014 report outlines the major project opportunities in the kingdom sector by sector. The first MEED Insight report on Morocco, this report looks at the [...]

Algeria's president Bouteflika

Algeria: A fourth term for Bouteflika?

Establishment has rallied around ailing president’s decision to run for another term, but many Algerians want change. Al Jazeera – 2 March 2014 The announcement by Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal on February 22 that Algeria’s president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, intends to stand for a fourth term in the upcoming presidential elections is a blow to [...]

In Amenas gas plant Algeria

Algeria opens new territory to oil drilling

Energy companies remain wary, though, after deadly 2013 attack on natural gas facility Al Jazeera – 28 January 2014 One year ago, a terrorist attack on a natural gas facility in southern Algeria led to the deaths of 67 people after Algerian troops tried to rescue hundreds of hostages taken by an al-Qaeda-linked group. Now, [...]


In Amenas gas plant in Algeria the target of a terrorist attack in January 2013

Business and Terrorism in Algeria

The Atlantic Council – 24 January 2014 A year after forty workers were killed in a terrorist attack against one of Algeria’s largest gas facilities on January 16, 2013, serious reservations remain about the provision of security at the site. The government’s partners on the project, the UK’s BP and Norway’s Statoil, have not yet [...]

In Amenas gas plant Algeria

Foreign oil and gas workers in Algeria – not yet back at work

The Economist – 15 January 2014 A YEAR has passed since a terrorist attack against one of Algeria’s largest natural gas facilities resulted in the deaths of 39 foreign workers. Yet the Algerian government has yet to convince international oil companies that it is safe enough for overseas staff to return to the site at [...]

Transformations in Egyptian Journalism

Transforming Egyptian Journalism

6th February 2013 – The Frontline Club The key to the development of the media in Egypt is not the transformation of journalists but the transformation of institutions, argues Naomi Sakr in her new book, Transformations in Egyptian Journalism. “I wanted to demonstrate that journalism as such may be the least of the problems in [...]


Terrorist attack In Amenas Algeria

How Algeria’s hostage crisis unfolded

31 January 2013 BBC Radio 4 Last week I contributed to the early stages of the research for a BBC Radio 4 programme that aired last night on the terrorist attacks on the In Amenas gas plant in Algeria two weeks ago that left at least 48 hostages dead. It’s well worth a listen. The [...]

Algerian government seeks to salvage energy trade after attack

The Independent – 26 January 2013 Until a few days ago, workers at the In Amenas gas plant in the Algerian Sahara lived a simple, if confined life. Working 12-hour shifts and seven-day weeks offered little opportunity for leisure. But when there was down time, workers had at their disposal state-of-the art training and sports [...]

Slow transition holds back Tunisian economy

MEED – 10 January 2013 Two years after the 23-year rule of Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali was brought to an end, the recovery of Tunisia’s economy is not going as smoothly as the government might have hoped. On 12 December, Fitch Ratings, one of three major international ratings agencies, downgraded the country’s sovereign ratings. Its [...]