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Algeria vs USA – Development Scorecard

Posted on Wednesday, 23 June 2010 08:33

In December 2009, Algeria and the USA reached a $2-3bn arms supply deal, according to a development scorecard prepared by the Africa Progress Panel

for their ‘Scoring for Africa’ report. Read more on the relations between the two countries off the field.

Attempts on target

Trade: Algeria is the largest trading partner of the United States in North Africa and the second largest in

the Arab world and Africa as a whole. Algeria’s volume of trade with the US went from $3.3 billion in 2002

to over $20 billion in 2008. In 2006, Algeria was designated a beneficiary country for duty free treatment

under the United States’ General System of Preferences (GSP). In 2010, the first ever official US government

trade delegation visited Algeria to discuss further trade opportunities. (Source: Algerian Embassy in the US)

Investment: Algeria is among the largest recipients of US investments in the hydrocarbon sector. With

Algeria currently covering 5% of US oil needs and with plans to increase that share to 20% by 2015, Algeria

is bound to receive an even greater share of US investments in the near future. There are also some efforts

underway to diversify US investment in Algeria. (Source: Algerian Embassy in the US)

Security: Since September 2001, security relations between the USA and Algeria have intensified, particularly

in the area of military training, intelligence exchange, and counter-terrorism. In December 2009, the two

countries reached a $2-3bn arms supply deal. (Source: Africa Confidential, Economist Intelligence Unit)

Attempts on target

Investment: Algeria is still perceived as a difficult market for foreign investors. Also, there has been a

marked change in policy towards foreign investors since July 2008, with the imposition of a tougher tax

regime, ceilings on foreign ownership and a raft of measures that make it harder to import goods into


Doha Development Round: The world’s major economies, including the US, have continuously committed

themselves to completing the Doha Development Rounds (which started in 2001), but have thus far failed

to do so. The goal of the Doha Rounds is to lower trade barriers around the world, allowing for an increase

in global trade – including with the developing world.


Human Rights: Critics claim that both governments tolerate human rights abuses and even torture by

officials in their joint counter-terrorism efforts. The UN Committee against Torture has called on both

governments to combat impunity, investigate all past and present cases of torture, and ensure that antiterrorism

measures comply with international human rights standards.

Governance: In 2008, Algeria’s President Abdelaziz Bouteflika changed the constitutional two-term limit

so that he could run for a third five year term – which he did successfully. The USA has not spoken out

against this.

Agricultural Subsidies: According to the OECD, the US spent approximately $31.6 billion in subsidies to

support its farmers in 2007. A recent opportunity to reform the Farm Bill in order to make it less damaging

to African farmers was missed. (Source: ONE Data Report 2009)

CO2 Emissions: Algeria is contributing only 0.32% to the world’s yearly CO2 emissions while the US

contributes nearly 16%, making it the world’s second largest carbon emitter after China. Historically,

Africa has contributed the least to total greenhouse gas emissions, yet the continent, and particularly

already arid countries like Algeria, are projected to be hit hardest by climate change. (Source: Climate

Analysis Indicators Tool (CAIT)

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