Algeria — Cases Skyrocket, Digital Plans Announced

  • The number of positive cases has increased in recent days.
  • President Abdelmadjid Tebboune chaired a working session devoted to examining the draft National Plan for socio-economic recovery.
  • Tebboune also called on ministers to develop a plan of digitization.

Algeria recorded 475 new positive cases on Tuesday, against 463 the previous day. The country totals 16,879 cases since the onset of the disease last February. Some regions are hit hard, particularly in Biskra, where the medical profession itself recorded the deaths of three doctors on Monday.

COVID-19 was confirmed to have spread to Algeria in February 2020. As of July 9, there are 17,808 confirmed cases and 988 deaths.

In Sétif, south-east of Algiers, which has recorded many positive cases in recent days, the Ministry of the Interior has decided to tighten, in 18 communes, partial confinement. Ceremonies of marriage and circumcision are strictly prohibited at home, from 5:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. starting this Wednesday.

In Relizane, in western Algeria, local authorities have prohibited family or other gatherings throughout the territory of the region. This measure is already applied in Algiers. Marriage and circumcision ceremonies are strictly prohibited. Tizi Ouzou, east of the capital, has benefited from total de-confinement since June 14, after having succeeded in stabilizing the pandemic. Now, fear has once again resettled.

The number of positive cases has increased in recent days. There were two deaths Sunday and Monday, while the region had not registered any for almost two months. Failure to comply with preventive measures, such as wearing masks and respecting social distancing, is considered to be the main source of the growth of COVID-19 in the country.

National Socio-Economic Recovery Plan

The President of the Republic, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, chaired a working session devoted to examining the draft National Plan for socio-economic recovery, to be submitted to the next meetings of the Council of Ministers. Mohamed Achir, the economist said this plan must tackle the restoration of confidence between those who govern and those who are governed.

Dr. Achir said this “requires a qualitative leap in the quality of the institutions, a competent and honest staff, a modern and facilitating administration.” To achieve the economic objectives essential for the recovery and adjustment of the state’s public accounts (external accounts, internal accounts, and bank liquidity), the academic finds it imperative to “think of effective and operational mechanisms.”

However, he warns, “the rigidity of public institutions, including the tax administration, the domains, the customs, the banks in their operation will not produce a short-term impact.” Dr. Achir recommends reforming the field of intervention of central and local administration and its relationship with economic operators. In his view, legal certainty is also a non-condition to restore confidence to national and foreign investors.

In the fiscal field, the economist proposes a deep, comprehensive, and intersectoral reform that will affect the economic chain upstream and downstream. Added to this is the digitization of the banking and tax system through the obligation of electronic payments, as well as the support, by the financial information services, of the tax and banking administration in the fight against illicit transactions.”

Abdelmadjid Tebboune is an Algerian politician who was Prime Minister of Algeria from May 2017 to August 2017 and is president-elect as of December 2019. Previously he was Minister of Housing from 2001 to 2002 and again from 2012 to 2017.

Emergence of a Real Digital Industry

The President of the Republic called on the ministers concerned to immediately begin the search for effective mechanisms capable of reducing unnecessary spending and increasing revenues through the encouragement of national production and the generalization of digitization.

These short-term plans would be under the supervision of the Prime Minister. On this last point, Abderrahmane Hadef, business development consultant, notes the great delay in terms of digital transition. This has caused many dysfunctions, either for the system of public governance or in terms of performance of the economic system.

However, “we note both an awareness and above all a real political will of the President of the Republic to remedy this situation and to keep up to date with the new economic era strongly dependent on information and communication technologies.”

The economist indicates that the various stakeholders must “have a favorable ecosystem for the emergence of a real digital industry through the lifting of all the constraints encountered on a daily basis.”

According to him, “it is imperative to review the entire regulatory and legal framework governing digital activities. So we must quickly work to improve and develop the infrastructure and resources, first of all, the quality of the internet service.”

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George Mtimba

George clarifies how the news is changing the world, how world news trends affect you. Also, George is a professional journalist, a freelance news reporter and writer who is passionate with current world news.

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