Algiers, March 19, 2017 — Hafez Ghanem, World Bank Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa, will arrive in Algeria tomorrow for an official three-day visit to reaffirm and expand a longstanding partnership in support of the country’s development goals.
The visit incudes planned meetings with Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal, Finance Minister Hadji Babaammi, along with key cabinet ministers with whom the Bank is currently working, and the Governor of the Central Bank, Mohamed Loukal. Ghanem, accompanied by the Country Director for the Maghreb and a delegation of Bank experts, will hold discussions on the progress achieved toward current national priorities and the further support the Bank’s global experience could offer in meeting these goals. Discussions will focus on areas where the Bank has been providing technical advice, such as improving the social protection systems as well as the long term objective of lessening the country’s dependence on fossil fuels and diversifying the economy to stimulate growth and jobs.
“Over the last 15 years Algeria has succeeded in lowering poverty rates from 20 to 7 percent, which is a significant achievement,” said Ghanem, “the challenge now is to build on that progress to create a more productive and innovative society. We have worked on reform programs with countries as diverse as Poland, Kazakhstan and Vietnam, and aim to draw on this global experience to support Algeria’s plans to lay the foundations for inclusive and sustainable future growth. Algeria has immense potential and is mapping out a vision for unlocking that potential.”
Over the course of the visit, Ghanem will also meet with the Waly, or Governor, of Algiers province, and with young Algerian entrepreneurs and civil society representatives. The meeting with the Waly of Algiers will focus on the challenges associated with the rapid growth of Algerian cities and the measures taken to address them, which will include a field visit to the new “smart city” Sidi Abdallah. In his encounter with entrepreneurs and members of civil society, Ghanem will have an opportunity to hear the perspective of young people on proposed social and economic reforms, and to better understand the obstacles and opportunities faced by the private sector.
The World Bank Group’s portfolio in Algeria consists of 10 reimbursable technical assistance projects ranging from supporting the development of the Vision 2035 to improving the business climate, agricultural development, and building statistical capacities to improve the effectiveness of social security systems. The World Bank’s private sector arm, the International Finance Corporation, supports Algeria’s efforts to diversify its economy with advisory services and a committed portfolio invested in leasing and banking sectors. In addition, IFC has invested in three regional private equity funds with allocations for Algeria’s small to medium enterprises.