Populations Migration across the Mediterranean Sea

Populations Migration across the Mediterranean Sea

An article of the International Organisation of Migration (IOM) posted on July 24, 2018 elaborates on the phenomenon of desperate populations migration across the Mediterranean Sea. These are desperate for a multitude of reasons that are all linked to unsurmountable situations in the countries of origin. Dynamics of migration across the Mediterranean a year ago, touched on these reasons but only from a European perspective. In any case, going by the map below, the situation as described in this article has certainly not improved; to the contrary it has gone worse to say the least.

The picture above is of Xinhua’s “People take to streets across America to protest Trump’s immigration policy” that could eventually mark a certain difference between the two worlds.

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 53,269 in 2018; Deaths Reach 1,492


Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 53,269 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea through 22 July 2018. That total compares to 110,603 at this time last year, and 244,722 at this time in 2016.

Arrivals to Spain (see chart below) this month have overtaken those to Italy. To date just over 36 per cent of all Mediterranean irregular migrants have come via the Western Mediterranean route, whose irregular migration volume has more than tripled those registered at this time last year. 

Arrivals to Italy are nearly identical, but still trail Spain by just over 1,600 arrivals. Greece counts about 29 per cent of all arrivals. Significantly, Greece’s arrivals thus far in 2018 are running almost 5,000 ahead of last year’s totals on this date, an increase of better than 50 per cent. Arrivals to Italy, on the other hand, are down over 80 per cent compared to 2017 data.

IOM Rome’s Flavio Di Giacomo reported Thursday (19 July) that the number (3,136) of irregular migrant arrivals to Italy by sea in June this year was the lowest recorded by Italian authorities since 2014 (see chart below).

Nonetheless in the month of June the Central Mediterranean route linking Italy to North Africa recorded the highest number of June deaths along this channel in the past four years. In June 2018, some 564 migrants were reported drowned or missing in the waters between North Africa and Sicily. That compares with 529 in 2017, with 388 in 2016, five in 2015 and 314 in 2014. Through 18 July, 153 additional fatalities have been recorded on this route. 

OM’s Missing Migrants Project has documented the deaths of 1,492 men, women and children seeking to cross the Mediterranean in 2018 – more than half of those deaths since 1 June.
Most recently IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has documented the deaths of a woman and a man whose remains were recovered in Tajoura and Garabulli, Libya on 19 July. MMP also recorded a tragedy on the Turkey-Greece border, where a woman and her three children drowned in the Evros/Meriç river on 19 July. They were crossing the river with another five people in an attempt to reach Greece when their boat capsized. The bodies of the 36-year-old Turkish woman and her one-year-old son were recovered on 20 July on the Turkish side of the river, while a search and rescue operation is still underway to locate the remains of her two other children, aged 5 and 7.

IOM Libya’s Christine Petré on Monday (23 July) reported that over the weekend, 156 migrants were returned to Libyan soil by the Libyan Coast Guard.  On Saturday (21 July), 40 migrants (31 men, eight women, one child) were returned to Libyan shore after having embarked on a rubber boat in Zuwara. The migrants received IOM’s emergency assistance including food, water and health care including pregnancy check-ups for two women. One of the women was in critical condition and received first aid before being transferred to a nearby hospital. The migrants came from Nigeria, Morocco, Egypt and Syria. Following humanitarian assistance, each was transferred to Tajoura detention centre.

On Sunday (22 July), 116 migrants (111 men, five women) who left Libya on a rubber boat in Garaboli received IOM’s emergency assistance including food, water, health care and protection screenings after being intercepted by the Libyan Coast Guard. Most of the migrants – from Sudan, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire, Chad, Egypt and Gambia – suffered from headaches, muscle pain and scabies. Those migrants also were transferred to Tajoura detention centre.
So far this year, 12,136 migrants have been returned to Libyan shore, Petré said.

IOM Madrid’s Ana Dodevska reported Monday that total arrivals at sea in 2018 have reached 19,586 men, women and children, irregular migrants who have been rescued in Western Mediterranean waters through 22 July, with nearly 1,000 arriving over the weekend. With this month’s figures Spain is the Mediterranean’s most-sought destination for irregular migrants traveling by sea, surpassing Italy and Greece.

Additionally, 3,125 migrants have attempted to enter Spain irregularly via the country’s African enclaves of Melilla and Ceuta, according to Spanish authorities.  

As remarkable as Spain’s rise in irregular migration activity has been through 2018, even more important is its recent surge. Over the year’s first five months, a total of 8,150 men, women and children were rescued in Spanish waters after leaving Africa – an average of 54 per day. In the 52 days since May 31, a total of 11,436 have arrived – or just under 220 migrants per day (see chart below).

IOM Athens’ Christine Nikolaidou said Monday that IOM has learned from the Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) of at least three incidents requiring search and rescue operations between 19 and 22 July off the islands of Lesvos, Samos, and Chios. The HCG rescued a total of 87 migrants and transferred them to those islands. At least 245 landed on those same islands without intervention – plus 79 more on Kos, Megisti and Oinouses – bringing to 411 the total arrivals during those four days.

Through 22 July, the total number of sea arrivals to Greek territory since January 1 is 15,351.

April remains the busiest month for irregular migration by land and sea to Greece, with a total of 7,009 men, women and children arriving. February was the lowest with 1,610 (see charts below).

IOM’s Kristina Uzelac reported that almost 13,000 irregular migrants have been registered in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Albania between January and the second week of July 2018. Of those, some 70 per cent have been apprehended by the Bosnian police, a total of 9,035 as of 15 July 2018. One third of all migrants registered were from Pakistan (33 per cent). Syrian nationals represent the second largest nationality group (16 per cent) followed by migrants from Afghanistan (12 per cent), the Islamic Republic of Iran (12 per cent) and Iraq (9 per cent).

Considering the limited capacity of official reception centres in the country (120 in Asylum and 100 in the Closed Reception centre), majority of migrants must stay in alternative shelters, mainly in the north-western part of the country, near the border with Croatia. IOM mobile teams have assisted more than 1,600 individuals with transportation, legal counsel, interpreter services, and medical referrals.

Reported arrivals to Albania are stable with estimated 38 to 40 apprehensions on entry into the country on a weekly basis. As of 14 July, authorities in Albania registered 1,305 irregular migrants on entry to the country and another 651 who were intercepted exiting the country to Montenegro.

Registered migrants are predominantly Syrian, Pakistani and Iraqi. Since 1 January, an estimated 2,283 irregular migrants have entered Montenegro, mainly from Albania. Almost half of all migrants were of Syrian origin (44 per cent). Pakistani nationals were the second largest group comprising 18 per cent of the overall arrivals, followed by Algerian (11 per cent) and Iraqi (7 per cent) nationals.

According to available data, irregular entries to Croatia and Slovenia also have increased between January and June 2018 when compared with the same period in 2017. In Croatia, Border Police reported 2,552 irregular entries this year, a 97 per cent increase compared to 1,297 reported in the same period last year and 11 per cent more than the total of 2,292 reported for the whole 2017.

Data from Slovenian Ministry of Interior indicate a four-fold increase in irregular entries between the second quarter of 2017 and 2018. At the end of June 2018, there were 3,266 registered irregular entries versus 748 reported at the end of June 2018 (1,930 reported in the whole of 2017). Available nationality breakdown indicates that the majority of intercepted migrants in both countries are from Pakistan, Algeria, Turkey, Syrian Arab Republic and Afghanistan.

According to available data from the official website of the Croatian Ministry of Interior, there were at least 13 incidents related to migrant smuggling in the past two months. The Croatian police arrested 21 people under suspicion of human smuggling. Arrested individuals were from Austria, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Syrian Arab Republic, Pakistan, Iraq, Croatia, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, proving the international character of the smuggling networks operating in the region.

Worldwide, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has documented the deaths of 2,255 people while migrating in 2018 (see chart below).

Besides the Mediterranean region, MMP reported that in the Horn of Africa, at least five people drowned in the Gulf of Aden when the boat in which they were travelling with 160 people capsized off the coast of Yemen on 19 July. The remains of two women and one man were retrieved in Al Shoghayrat, Shabwa Governorate, Yemen, while according to survivors’ testimonies, two men remain missing.

On the US-Mexico border, three people died recently while trying to cross into the United States. According to the Mexican Consulate in Eagle Pass, the remains of a 40-year-old man, of unknown identity, were found in a ranch near Carrizo Springs, Texas on 19 July. The day after, Mexican civil protection authorities recovered the body of a young man from the Río Bravo/Grande, near the second international bridge in Piedras Negras, Coahuila. On 21 July, after receiving a distress call, US Border Patrol officers found the body of a 34-year-old Guatemalan man who had died of dehydration in a ranch near Hebbronville, Texas.

In Mexico, a young migrant was killed by a freight train on 19 July. He was severely injured after falling from the top of the train in which he was travelling north to the US border, and died at the hospital in Saltillo, Coahuila a few hours later.
Missing Migrants Project data are compiled by IOM staff but come from a variety of sources, some of which are unofficial. To learn more about how data on migrants’ deaths and disappearances are collected, click 

For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, please visit: http://migration.iom.int/europe
Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project at:

For more information, please contact:
Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email:
Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean, Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email:
Hicham Hasnaoui, IOM Morocco, Tel: + 212 5 37 65 28 81, Email:
Atigoni Avgeropoulou, IOM Greece, Tel :   +30 210 99 19 040 ext. 166; M. +30 69 48 92 98 09, Email:
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email:
Ivona Zakoska, IOM Regional DTM, Austria, Tel: + +43 1 5812222, Email:
Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Germany, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email:
Christine Petré, IOM Libya, Tel: +216 29 240 448, Email:
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain. Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email:
Myriam Chabbi, IOM Tunisia, Mobile: +216 28 78 78 05, Tel: +216 71 860 312 (Ext 109 ), Email:


Azawad the Country to be but Never Made it

Azawad the Country to be but Never Made it

Here is a story written by Christin Roby @robyreports and published by Devex on 28 August 2017 that is a good recollection of what is happening in the outer edges of the MENA region. In fact, it is in the Sahel region that borders the south of all the North African countries (see map below) from as it were the Atlantic coast to its Indian counterpart coast. The narrated events in this particular story happened to have all occurred in what is called Azawad since time immemorial by the North African Berber populations.  These populations are known throughout North Africa as Blue Men or Tuaregs for their nomadic roaming notably in the south-eastern limits of the Sahara. Azawad is the country to be but never made it to go it alone beyond that April day of 2012. Read more in the republished here story of Christen Roby. 


Aid groups see rising security risk in Mali even as needs grow

The image above is of a Patrol of the MINUSMA force in the town of Gao, Mali. Photo by: United Nations / CC BY-NC-ND

MOPTI, Mali — Two separate attacks on U.N. peacekeeping bases in Mali earlier this month have escalated security concerns for NGOs and international organizations in the country’s northern and central regions. The already-volatile area has seen a rise in incidents against NGOs in recent months, and analysts fear local extremist groups may be forming in the country’s central and southern regions in response to limited governance.

The insecurity is wreaking double havoc: It has increased humanitarian needs, as public services deteriorate and livelihoods are compromised. Meanwhile, aid organizations are struggling to operate and address those needs given the complex safety risks.

“In this insecurity and fighting, you have elements who simply don’t respect humanitarian organizations and, in fact, they openly target humanitarian organizations,” John Ging, director of operations for the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, told Devex. “The influence we have and our ability to negotiate respect for and security for our operation in an environment in central and northern Mali has limitations,” he said.

The attacks on U.N. peacekeepers on August 14 took place in Timbuktu, in Mali’s north, and Douenza, in the central region. In the former case, armed assailants targeted the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali’s headquarters, leaving six dead. One peacekeepers and a Malian soldier died in the second incident.

For aid organizations, the primary threats include thefts, carjacking and kidnappings. In a reminder of the risks, militants released a video of hostages abducted as early as 2011 just ahead of a visit to Mali by French President Emmanuel Macron in early July. Though one of the hostages, South African Stephen McGown, was released a few weeks later, the incident rattled the aid community. Relief groups have developed personalized security protocols to cope with ever-present risks. Security experts also urge the development community to work with and through local partners at all stages of programming and implementation to mitigate risks and build trust.

A backdrop of insecurity

Mali has maintained a high-security risk profile since 2003, when Algeria’s militant Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat fled across into the country’s northern region. The country today is home to overlapping conflicts, including between roaming pastoralists and farmers, as well as jihadists groups.

Military efforts to establish security have so far had mixed results. Government military forces and working with the U.N. Multidimensional Stabilization Mission in Mali and the French-led Barkhane forces, which have been present in-country since 2013 and 2014, respectively.

Though Islamic militant groups have had no territorial control since the French operation, Vincent Rouget, West Africa analyst at the global risk consultancy firm Control Risks, said they have “proven very mobile, very agile and very capable of evading surveillance and conducting attacks increasingly outside of their stronghold in the desert north.”

The crumbling security situation in this landlocked country may pose a threat to neighbouring countries, experts told Devex. The countries making up the Sahel region — Mali, Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad — launched the G5 Sahel Joint Force earlier this summer to combat Islamist militants. Even with large financial support from the European Union, from France and from each country making up the force, Rouget believes that the deployment of more forces will not necessarily be an effective solution to this problem. He said the approach, in some cases, could even exacerbate tensions and lead to more discontent with the presence of expatriates.

The deteriorating security situation is having a devastating impact on the local population, said Ging. “People are really exposed to very dangerous, volatile and difficult situations … and that feeds directly into the escalation in their need and dependency on humanitarian support because they are negatively impacted in their own capacity to cope,” he said.

During his visit to the Mopti region in April, Ging found that nearly 300 schools were closed, more than double the amount closed last year. Across the greater central and northern Mali, 507 schools were closed out of 2300 schools total.

Providing desperately needed humanitarian support has also proved a daunting task, often obstructed by the highly uncertain situation, Ging told Devex.

Current trends

Security risks now extend across the central region of Mali, impacting even the traditionally stable towns of Sevare and Segou. The lack of government presence in these areas has provided fertile ground for Islamic militants and radical discourse to take hold, Rouget explained.

Militants in this area tend to be decentralized, he said. While operating under the Al Qaeda umbrella, they work independently from one another, making them more difficult to root out. Rouget described them as local cells fighting against the state.

Experts working in the Mopti region are divided over whether these groups have specific targets, or whether the insecurity is more generalized. A UNOCHA representative in Mali argued that attacks happen to all types of people, not just aid workers. Whereas, an office manager for an aid relief agency told Devex that the U.N. and NGOs are singled out.

Rouget sees militants targeting those they consider “crusaders,” or Western nationals and those working with them, including French soldiers, U.N. peacekeepers, Malian military and gendarmerie and NGOs. In order to gain local support, these groups usually attempt to avoid Muslim casualties, he said. Attacks are often highly targeted, avoiding large scale suicide bombings employed by other jihadist groups such as Boko Haram, for example.

According to the Mali chapter of the International NGO Safety Organisation, incidents against NGOs are on track to be double compared to last year. As of June 2017, the country saw 98 incidents compared to a total of 114 NGO incidents in 2016.

Tomas Musik, INSO section director responsible for operations in Mali, Afghanistan, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo, accounts this significant increase in overall security incidents to a rise in criminality.

“This rise is due in part to the political context which remains unabated between pro-government security forces and opposition groups, which you could qualify as the radical jihadi groups,” Musik said.

Carjackings are particularly common, usually impacting NGOs and aid workers, as they tend to be the ones using vehicles. “There is some targeting which is not related to an NGO mandate or lack of acceptance from the community, but which is rather due to lack of exposure and the fact that NGOs remain present very extensively in the field and compared to presence of government or private sector,” he said.

Keeping aid workers safe

To increase aid worker safety, experts recommend international organizations work more closely with local populations. No white expatriates currently work in Mali’s central region.

“Humanitarian organizations work very much at the basis of community acceptance, so a central part of how humanitarian organizations enhance their own security is direct engagement with community leaders: Seeking support and respect from them for the humanitarian activities whether it’s the staff, the locations, or the movement of supplies,” Ging told Devex.

Musik stressed the importance of delivering quality work and assistance to communities, involving the local populations to define needs and targeted response plans, and making sure that the community feels represented.

“Groups must have a really sound understanding of geography because the threat varies hugely across regions and across localities,” Rouget added. He said it is critical to understand if an imminent threat exists, or if an area only experiences sporadic attacks. For single visits, he said, it is important to consider details such as choice of hotels and restaurants, as well as where one spends time outside the office, since many large attacks in Mali have occurred during weekends.

“As an organization, what you can do is provide your staff who are deployed [in unstable zones] with training and get them properly equipped to face hostile environments, and also more broadly to try to instill a culture of security awareness, which is not necessarily easy to do with NGOs and humanitarian aid workers but really make staff aware of the threat level and make sure they don’t take unnecessary risks,” Rouget urged.

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About the author

Christin Roby@robyreports

Christin Roby is a West Africa correspondent for Devex based in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire where she covers global development trends, health, technology and policy-related topics. Before relocating to West Africa, Christin spent several years working in local newsrooms, and earned an MSJ in videography and global affairs reporting from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Her informed insight into the region stems from her diverse coverage of more than a dozen African nations.


Employment Policy in 2017 – 2020 for Algeria

Employment Policy in 2017 – 2020 for Algeria

Or else Facing Unemployment Increase?

The National Office of Statistics (ONS) has this month announced unemployment that is worrying but predictable is on the increase. Moreover, despite all investment and employment agencies opting for a maximum of projects with financial and tax benefits, it should however be asked if these projects were fit for purpose as per a global vision of the country’s development. And, whether these are promising segments of sustainable growth or just some cosmetic operations for the redistribution of the rentier annuity to calm the social front? This contribution would want to look at Employment policy in 2017 – 2020 for Algeria and here it is as compiled from various write-ups of mine as leader of a multidisciplinary team of economists, sociologists and demographers between 2007 and 2008 on an audit (1) for the Algerian Government on employment and wages (eight volumes 980 pages).
Algeria according to international observers, as reiterated on November 2, 2016 in Algiers by an independent expert with the delegation of the European Parliament in Algiers chaired by Mr. Antonio Panzeri, Chairman of the Delegation for Relations with the Maghreb countries, has a full potential, subject to far-reaching reforms, to establish a diversified economy responsible for the creation of sustainable jobs and therefore the stability of the Mediterranean region and Africa

Structure of employment and unemployment between 2013 / 2017

The Algerian population has grown to 41.30 million on January 1st, 2017 and in April 2017, according to the ONS, the workforce reached a total of 12.27 million people with 2.52 million (20.60%) of women, against 12.12 million in September 2016, and a positive balance of 160,000 people, or an increase of 1.3%..

By the end of 2015, the active population was 11.93 million and unemployment for the same period, according to the ONS, was 11.2% with a 29.9% of youth unemployment.

According to the ONS, quoted by the Algerian Press Service (APS), the active population, was in April 2017 estimated at 10.769 million against 10.845 in September 2016, registering a negative balance of 76,000 people as compared to September 2016 where six out of ten people are on average long-term unemployed, which means 62.2% are looking for a job for 1 or over a year.

The unemployed population reached thereby 1.50 million, or 12.3% nationally, an increase of 1.8 point compared to September 2016. Youth unemployment rate for the 16-24 years was 29.7% and the distribution according to education, it was found that 787,000 unemployed had no degree , or more than half of all the unemployed population (52.2%). Thus, unemployment without qualification rose from 7.7% in September 2016 to 10.1% in April 2017, whereas that of graduates of vocational training increased from 13% to 14.8% between the same periods.

On the other hand, unemployment amongst university graduates declined slightly from 17.7% in September 2016 to 17.6% in April 2017. Still according to the ONS, the decline in the volume of employment between September 2016 and April 2017 has affected the sector of the construction industry with a negative balance of 91,000 people, and that of trade, services, and public administration a negative balance of 84,000 whereas, a positive balance was recorded for the sector of agriculture (63,000) and industry (36,000) compared with September 2016.

The preliminary report of the International monetary Fund (IMF) on the global economic outlook for Algeria shows that if in 2016, the growth of real GDP was 4.2%, the situation is expected to significantly deteriorate in 2017 and 2018. Indeed, the IMF expects growth of 1.4% of GDP in Algeria in 2017 and 2018; the Algerian economy should know stagnation, with a growth rate of GDP of only 0.6%. A direct result of the economic slowdown, the unemployment rate should substantially increase over the same period up to an estimated 13.2% in 2018 with an inflationary trend always according to the IMF that we are trying to compensate by creating jobs to very low value added.

An April 2016 investigation of the ONS confirmed that services sector were the trend of the economy with its correlation in employment. But these services sector are basically small trade and services representing 83% of the economic area with very low productivity and not comparable to those of the developed countries where the services sector notably through the information and communication technologies create opportunities for economic growth and generate productive employment.

Indeed, in April 2016, the structure of employment by sector of activity highlights market and non-market services to absorb 61.6% of the total work force, followed by construction (16.8%), industry (13%) and agriculture (8.7%). In a more precise way, on administration, according to the public service, the number of staff on January 1, 2015 is of 2,020,172 officials including 1,608,964 full time (79,64%) and 411,208 (20.30%) contractual agents.

State central administration is represented by 313,171 agents or 15.50% and 813,725 of decentralised national authorities officers or 41.57%, 312,009 local authorities administration agents or 15.4%, public administrative bodies 449,268 agents, or 22.24%, and all public scientific and technology 105,999 agents, or 5.25%. the young represent 274,074 agents, the 30 to 40 year old 735,756 agents, the 41/50 year old 668,725, the 50 to 59 years 92,580, and the more than 60 years only 20,944.

By sectors, the Interior represent 29,22%, education 29,34% with 592,831 of which 297,394 female agents, public health 13.19% with 138,581 out of a total 266,525 agents, higher education with women’s 8.50% of a workforce of 95,118 out of 171,761 total agents, finance with 4.15% vocational training with 2.80%, justice with 2.16% and other sectors 10.64%.

Investment between 2000 and 2017 allocation

Knowing that the industrial sector represents less than 5% of the gross domestic product (GDP), and on these 95% are SMIs/SMEs making up the Algerian productive fabric today going through difficulties because of bureaucratic, sclerotic financial system, socio-educational system not adapted, land disorganisation, in addition to competition from an informal sphere that controls 40 to 50% of the money in circulation. It must be asked if the young developers approved by programs such as the National Agency of Investment Development (ANDI), “Agence Nationale de Soutien a l’emploi des Jeunes” (ANSEJ) and other agencies responsible for the promotion of employment, have the qualification and above all the experience necessary to manager projects, like what is happening everywhere in the world, running a business in a competitive environment in order to have competitive prices.

Is there not a risk of wastage of oil revenues related financial resources and the use of Treasury towards the reorganization of public enterprises? As this is currently the case for El Hajar real financial chasms despite its public euphoric promises of the resolution of all problems between 2014 and 2015.

Because the current political  industrial, without coherence is based on the material age (iron-cement) of the 1970s believing it to be the silver bullet.

Was it not a reasonable path meanwhile a real revival of non-hydrocarbon segments, to invest in the acquisition of knowledge by additional training and internships so as to prepare seriously for insertion in active life permanently?

How can we not forget that, according to official data in terms of the distribution of projects by sectors is transport that has attracted the most investment, closely followed by the building, public works, followed by far less than 15 to 20% of the industry and agriculture sectors with a low foreign direct investment FDI.

Large firms choose to settle in the neighbouring countries and trade with us mainly because of the 2009 Finance Act with its widespread share ownership rule of 49 / 51% is considered too protectionist by all foreign investors hence slowing the momentum of the IDEs towards the SMIs/SMEs. In General, the results of employment of the ANDI, the ANSEJ and the CNAC agencies with reference to projects and not in intention are mixed despite many benefits.

As according to some sources, more than 50% of the projects are abandoned after receiving benefits and the many disputes with banks about non refunds attest to this.

However, before any costly operation without analyzing its profitability in terms of dynamics in the light of the new technological changes and global managerial systems, a serene balance would mean to answer the following questions and this in a way specific and quantified:

  • What is the assessment of the ANDI, “Caisse Nationale d’Assurance Chomage” (CNAC) and the ANSEJ since their existence in the effective realisation of these projects and not those filed in and their legal status;
  • What is the time limit for projects carried out between the time of the deposit and the actual realization knowing that time management is of the essence;
  • For those realised projects how many got bankrupt according to the rules of the commercial code;
  • What is the share of hard currency vs. Dinars of these projects;
  • What is the level of bank debt of projects with the amount of bad debts;
  • What is the breakdown of bank credit per projects;
  • What is the exact amount of tax benefits for both the realised projects and those not carried out;
  • What is the breakdown of the jobs with the level of qualification per projects and those created insofar as the development of the 21st century is based on the development of knowledge;
  • What is the contribution to the country’s real added value of these projects;
  • Are these projects notably those realised up to international values insofar as with globalization, that despite the crisis, we have an open economy due to the fact to Algeria’s international commitments.

Also, to get an idea of the necessary balance and in order to go beyond the current entropy, it is necessary to assess the impact of public spending thus:

  • On the rate of growth, the unemployment rate and the purchasing power of citizens
  • Conducting surveys so as to highlight the distribution of income and consumption by strata model and determine the concentration index in real and not fictitious terms, and according to a dynamic medium and long term vision
  • The share of markets granted to national (public and private), distinguishing also self-financing and borrowing from banks and especially their production capacities,
  • Clearly distinguish within the investment part of hard currencies and part in Dinars;
  • The share of contracts awarded to foreigners;
  • Have these contributed to the accumulation of the organizational and technological know-how or was it turnkey contracts ;
  • What is their equity contribution and the share covered by Algerian banks;
  • What has been the amount of the flow of foreign direct investment and transfers of capital to Algeria;
  • What is the amount of currency outflow (goods – services often ignored of 10 to $12 billion dollars per year between 2010 and 2016) and legal capital transfers and finally analyze the impact of the implementation of the import licenses that must be part of a strategic goal of boosting without complacency the national productive fabric, being transitional and granted in total transparency to avoid pension situation and respecting international agreements.

For a new political job and wages policy

There is a universal law; the employment rate is a function of the rate of growth and of the structures of the productivity rates of competitive value-added enterprise. Jobs are not created through decrees or State voluntarism; the solution of ease is creating jobs in the administration.

The official unemployment rate of 12.3% for April 2017 is heavily biased including overstaffing in both Governments as in public companies, the fictitious temporary jobs and jobs in the informal sphere.

Paradoxically, because of the sectoral allocation of investment through public spending, strongly biased emphasis on jobs with very low qualifications such as the construction industry, graduates are more likely to be unemployed. This sector will create between 300,000 / 400 000 jobs a year between 2017 and 2020, which are in addition to the current unemployment rate underestimated due to demographic pressure, the entry on the labour market of women underestimated in the statistics, in order to solve the nagging problem of unemployment.

What will become of the 2 million students out of universities between 2018 and 2020? In general, foreign exchange reserves are only a monetary sign to stabilise the currency against the Dollar and the Euro and no sign of development.

Inflation and unemployment that we might artificially be compressing through the rentier revenues of hydrocarbons are the consequences of the disease of the social body, i.e. of the inconsistencies of the socio-economic policies. Without widespread subsidies, non-targeted, combined with the slippage of the Dinar, in the case of non-increasing production and real productivity, of the decline in foreign exchange reserves that sustain the Dinar value by up to 70%, the inflation rate could, in the coming years, reach double-digit with inevitable social tensions.

With the decline in receipts from hydrocarbons, this situation of widespread subsidies, tax benefits and subsidized interest granted in many areas without impact analysis, is untenable.  Without the unproductive jobs and more in case the reduction of public expenditure, the growth rate being pulled to 70 and 80% directly and indirectly by public expenditure through hydrocarbons related revenues, including the construction industry, with the risk of a property bubble, with the decline in purchasing power, the unemployment rate beyond the official rate.

While not having a mainly negative view, there were lots of achievements, perhaps with many deficiencies but there is urgent need for a strategic vision to move beyond the current situation in this world in perpetual motion and a discourse of truth would be required. The fact is that Algeria still in 2017 in transition, is neither a State-controlled economy still very far from a true market economy that is characterised by a productive and competitive economy.

During this difficult period of transition from a State to a competitive market economy and the rule of law is that the reforms are timidly initiated despite speeches that contradict daily social practices, and always restrained especially as the price of oil increases. Banks or rather rentier pension distributers continue to operate as administrative shops, and often by doing so delay reforms issues through attacking the technical more than the organizational aspects, whilst they are the driving reforms; with privatization and partnership as a means of investment and value-added trampling due to lack of consistency and transparency; food bill is high despite the famous agricultural program (NADP) which should take stock of the fact of several billions of dollars in spending and bureaucracy and corruption continue to plague.

As consequence of the inconsistency and lack of visibility of the socio-economic policy and practice for many decades not only for the current period, the currency, we are witnessing the dizzying fall of the Dinar in the official market and on the parallel market with the return to inflation that is compressed by widespread unfair subsidies via the rentier pension whereas the targeting is necessary, in the speculative activities, the discouragement of knowledge and the enterprising creator of wealth, to the extension of the informal sphere, to social tensions through the various local governorates that reflected the difficulties of the economic system to generate growth away from hydrocarbon, only condition to deal with this social unrest.


Facing inevitable budget tensions between 2017 and 2020 and the price of oil being down for a long time, it will be as based on the results quantified and dated a matter to implement both economic and social strategies on adaptation and solidarity policy, assuming a broad national front, taking into account the different sensitivities of all local and international, the mutations at the dawn of the fourth world economic revolution with geostrategic upheaval (1).

A broad social front is necessary to accelerate all structural reforms. Algeria needs to avoid the lethargy and sterility that all of its children in their diversity join forces in a same economic and social development objective. Because, a multidimensional crisis in today’s Algerian society is fundamentally systemic, beyond the strictly economic scope, referring to political aspects involving renewed governance and therefore the reestablishment of the State would be the wisest. Moreover per all international observers, Algeria having all the required potential, it is only a matter of far-reaching reforms, that are aimed at establishing a diversified economy that will in the end be the guarantor of stability not only in the country but also in the Mediterranean region and the African continent.  ademmebtoul@gmail.com


Saudi woman who reached the world’s rooftop

Saudi woman who reached the world’s rooftop

To come down as an accidental role model . . .

The BBC produced a show on 18 May 2013 on the story of this extraordinary young Saudi woman who reached the world’s rooftop with a team of young middle eastern people.  

A Saudi woman has made history by reaching the summit of the world’s highest mountain.  Raha Moharrak, 25, not only became the first Saudi woman to attempt the climb but also the youngest Arab to make it to the top of Everest. She is part of a four-person expedition that also includes the first Qatari man and the first Palestinian man attempting to reach the summit.

They are trying to raise $1m (£660,000) for education projects in Nepal.  Originally from Jeddah, Ms Moharrak is a university graduate currently based in Dubai.

Coming from Saudi Arabia – a conservative Muslim country where women’s rights are very restricted – she had to break a lot of barriers to achieve her goal, her climb team said.

A biography on the expedition website said convincing Ms Moharrak’s family to agree to her climb “was as great a challenge as the mountain itself”, though they fully support her now.

“I really don’t care about being the first,” she is quoted as saying. “So long as it inspires someone else to be second.”

Saudi woman mountain climber

Gulf Business on 12  June 2016, published this article on its interview with Raha;  excerpts of it are reproduced here.  

In conversation with Saudi adventurer Raha Moharrak

The authors of Game Changers speak to Raha Moharrak, the youngest Arab and the first Saudi woman to conquer Mount Everest

By David B. Jones, Sophie Le Ray and Radhika Punshi

Having been a curious child, Raha Moharrak always dreamed of having challenging adventures and seeing the world. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in visual communications from the American University of Sharjah and started her career at a leading advertising agency. However, Raha’s life changed the day she climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and challenged herself, her society and culture. It was this adventure that drove her to climb eight more summits, and eventually Mount Everest. On May 18, 2013, Raha made history by becoming the first Saudi woman to summit Mount Everest, a feat that turned her into an accidental role model.

Read more the whole story on Gulf Business 


FIFA enquête sur les travailleurs migrants du Qatar

FIFA enquête sur les travailleurs migrants du Qatar

Ultimatum de 12 mois au Qatar . . .

La FIFA enquête sur les travailleurs migrants du Qatar et pourrait remettre en question l’organisation de la Coupe du Monde 2022 au Qatar si son dossier sur le traitement des travailleurs migrants ne s’améliore pas dans un délai de 12 mois. L’Observatoire du Qatar rapporte que John Ruggie, professeur à l’université d’Harvard, a rédigé un rapport indépendant commandé par l’organe du football mondial qui présente les réformes de grande ampleur en matière de droits humains auxquelles l’émirat doit se soumettre.

La publication de ce rapport de 42 pages met en lumière de graves déficits sur la politique et les pratiques de la FIFA en matière de gouvernance mais aussi son indifférence face aux atteintes des droits de l’homme au Qatar. Il indique que la FIFA a « un long chemin à parcourir » pour que soit respecté son « engagement initial en matière de droits humains ».

Ce rapport rappelle que l’Organisation internationale du Travail (OIT) a récemment donné au Qatar un délai de 12 mois pour mettre fin à l’exploitation des travailleurs migrants. Faute de quoi, le pays fera l’objet d’une commission d’enquête en mars 2017. Près d’un siècle après la naissance de l’OIT, cette procédure n’a été appliquée que 13 fois et dans des cas de manquements graves aux droits des travailleurs.  

Amnesty International a de son côté réagi au rapport Ruggie en ces termes : « les travailleurs migrants au Qatar ne peuvent plus attendre. Ils ont besoin maintenant d’une protection de leurs droits humains ». L’organisation de défense des droits de l’homme ajoute que « la FIFA pratique la politique de l’autruche en ce qui concerne les abus commis au Qatar depuis plus de cinq ans. Elle préfère déclarer à la face du monde que les autorités qatariennes vont régler les problèmes. Il n’en est rien, et à présent seule une action concertée de la FIFA visant à empêcher les abus sur les sites de la Coupe du monde permettra de sauver l’âme de la Coupe du monde Qatar 2022 ».

Le 31 mars dernier, Amnesty International a rendu public un rapport exposant des abus commis contre des ouvriers des chantiers de construction du Khalifa international stadium à Doha.  La FIFA a réagi avec une certaine indifférence face à ces abus, qui, dans certains cas, relevaient « du travail forcé». Le rapport est basé sur des entretiens réalisés entre février 2015 et février 2016 auprès de 234 travailleurs migrants venus principalement du Bangladesh, d’Inde et du Népal qui constituent les plus gros contingents de la force ouvrière nationale. Le rapport révèle que 228 personnes ont assuré que leurs salaires étaient inférieurs à ce qu’on leur avait promis avant de partir dans l’émirat et que d’autres ouvriers ont pâti de retard de paiement de leurs salaires de plusieurs mois. La plupart des travailleurs ont en outre vu leurs passeports confisqués et ce, en violation de la loi qatarie, précise encore Amnesty.

Devant l’émoi suscité auprès des médias internationaux suite à ces nouvelles révélations, le travail de l’ONG est susceptible de provoquer encore plus de controverses et de critiques envers le Qatar et de mettre la pression sur la FIFA. En conclusion de leur propos, les rédacteurs accusent en effet l’organisation gérante du football mondial d’un« manque d’action significative ».

Act Straight and Fly Right

Act Straight and Fly Right

Act Straight and Fly Right !

Now that international sanctions have been lifted in Iran, more and more travel will be destined to and from that country.  And then maybe not for the gay kind.   Iran is one amongst the 79 countries where homosexuality is illegal and punishable by death.  All MENA countries are included in the anti-homosexual list.  One of this morning’s news stories on The Daily Beast is Dana Kennedy’s article, Gay Air France Flight Attendants Say No to Iran.  According to the article:

Air France recently announced that it will resume thrice-weekly flights to Iran from Paris next week after an eight-year hiatus due to international sanctions.

Problems first arose a week ago, when female flight attendants and female pilots were angered by a memo saying they’d have to wear head scarves when exiting the plane in Tehran. Air France, in a compromise negotiated with the unions, eventually agreed to let female flight attendants opt out of the Iran flights if they wanted—without retribution. [1]

So if the females can opt-out, so can they reasoned the gay flight attendants, on the bases of life endangerment.  The airline has not resolved the dispute with this request.  So far more than 15,000 people have signed the petition.  Air Frances policy states that if any crew member refuses to fly to any of their destinations, they are subject to salary decreases and being reprimanded.  Another source wrote:

So far, Air France has given no indication it plans to meet the petitioners’ demands.

In a written reply to FRANCE 24’s request for comment, the company noted that it already flies to a range of countries that “have restrictive legislation regarding homosexuality”, and that none of these routes have presented a problem in the past.

“The cabin crew profession inherently involves working in countries whose cultures and rules are very different from ours,” the airline’s press office said, adding that “Air France management always strives to ensure that staff members work in the safest environment possible”.

Trade unions have not openly rallied behind the petitioners’ demands, though a spokesperson for France’s Union of Civil Aviation Cabin Crews (UNAC) union told French weekly Le Point that the opt-out clause should apply to all workers, “regardless of gender or sexual orientation”.

Unions say Air France cabin crew who refuse to fly a given route are liable to be officially reprimanded and face a salary cut.

Last week, a spokesperson for the cabin crew branch of France’s National Organisation of Autonomous Unions (UNSA PNC) told FRANCE 24 that refusal to work on a route could “damage staff members’ careers and prevent their promotion”. [2]

As I am reading these articles, I cannot help but think about what ever happen to the notion of “don’t ask, don’t tell”.  Is that archaic now days?  Or is that just the US Military’s policy?  A comment on one of the articles mentioned, that Sexual Orientation is not a written disclosure on passports.  So really what is the problem with flying to a destination with a turn around time of several hours to 24 hours? Who needs to know and who cares.  Those countries also have strict rules and customs about interacting with members of the opposite sex as well.  Hotels and apartment buildings can and will interfere with guests of the opposite sex from visiting one’s room and apartment.  Trust my confession as a heterosexual.   So instead of wearing their “I’m Gay and Proud of it” lapel button, the gay flight attendants can wear buttons that declare “Really, I am straight” just as a precaution to save their own lives. Otherwise, who would be the wiser for their sexual orientation?  I have never seen so many men holding hands together, as I had when I worked in the Middle East.  I was forewarned by my former boss that this was not a sign of their homosexuality but just customary for Indian men.  Okay, if you say so.

These countries are just as strict with their moral laws for heterosexuals as well.  What a precedent it will set if the gay flight crew members refuse to go into anti-homosexual territories.  Then the heterosexuals will demand their rights to boycott as well because their freedoms will also be curtailed to various degrees, to be able to rendezvous and mingle with members of the opposite sex. These countries did not just, last week, show up on the earth with their own codes of conduct.  Why is it now a matter of concern for airline personnel?   I would suggest to homosexuals and heterosexuals alike to just consider it a Fast when you are in these countries for 24 hours.  Or change careers if one truly cannot comply with other countries’ culture and customs.  Why go into the international travel business as a career in the first place, if one cannot tolerate or respect foreign diverse cultures?

The same boss, previously mentioned, was the project director for the airports in Dubai, Doha and Abu Dhabi.  Upon my arrival he offered me some more good advice, “Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore”.  This will only make sense to you if you are familiar with the children’s story, The Wizard of Oz.  So consider OZ as any foreign country with culture and customs different than your own.

It seems to me that these fears are baseless.  I don’t know for a fact but my gut instincts tell me that the number of gay flight attendants that have had their heads chopped off after landing in one of these anti-homosexual countries is zero (0).  So don’t come out of the closet, I mean the plane, in a flaunty gay manner and you should survive.  I think.  Moving on, let’s read more about what Air France thinks:

Air France said it has no plans to change policy in this instance. The airline already flies to nearly 20 other countries that have “restrictive legislation relating to homosexuality,” including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, India and Nigeria, it said in a statement emailed to CNNMoney.

“We have not had any issues in recent years in [these] countries,” it added. “Air France management carries out constant monitoring to ensure that all members of its flight crews can perform their duties in the safest possible conditions.”

Lufthansa (DLAKY) has been flying to Iran for years. A spokesperson for the German carrier told CNNMoney it has never heard about any staff concerns related to homosexual persecution in Iran. [3]

The late Nat King Cole and his daughter, Natalie Cole sang a little catchy song called, Fly Right.  Air France and all other airlines whose staff signed the petition may want to play it on their plane’s intercom and in-flight music choices.  I don’t know what it was supposed to mean, but it somehow seems appropriate for this breaking news.  It goes like this:

A buzzard took the monkey for a ride in the air
The monkey thought that ev’rything was on the square
The buzzard tried to throw the monkey off his back
But the monkey grabbed his neck and said, now, listen, Jack

Straighten up and fly right
Straighten up and fly right
Straighten up and fly right
Cool down papa, don’t you blow your top

Ain’t no use in divin’, what’s the use of jivin’
Straighten up and fly right

Of course, I would change the title of the song to Act Straight and Fly Right.



The Daily Beast, Gay Air France Flight Attendants Say No to Iran by Dana Kennedy

France 24, Middle East section, Air France’s gay stewards join protest of Iran flights by Boris Horvat

CNN, Gay Protest Over Air France Flight to Iran by Alanna Petroff