Algerian President manipulates and inflates economic indicators
Soon after announcing the retrieval of 20 billion dollars, President Tebboune drew mockery when he said that another 36 billion dollar amount was confiscated from a family that concealed it somewhere in vast Algeria.
That brings the total sum of allegedly seized money to $56 billion, a sum that is about 35% of Algeria’s GDP or an amount that is higher than the GDP of Senegal and Gabon combined.
The announcement triggered mockery beyond Algeria’s borders. Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris said on his twitter account that 36 billion dollars means Algerian authorities found a whole building packed with money.
These colossal figures were presented by Tebboune during a meeting with local governors where he sought to defend his performance as a puppet civilian president whose strings are pulled by men in uniform.
Lacking tangible achievements, Tebboune is in a delicate situation to explain the high inflation, poverty and higher unemployment despite a spectacular surge in prices and revenue.
In 2022, Algeria’s economy grew by 4.1% and created 50,000 jobs, said Tebboune, omitting to mention how many jobs were lost.
For a population of 40 million, 50,000 jobs is a derisory figure that makes unemployment endemic in the oil and gas rich country where the official youth unemployment rate stands at 32%.
Instead of promoting entrepreneurship, Algerian president takes pride at encouraging unemployment by bragging about the cash handouts to some 2 million people.
Algeria’s growth has low impact on job creation due to the resource curse with a large oil and gas sector that has hit the limit in terms of job creation.